The Liberty women's soccer team is headed to the title game of the Big South Championship for the second straight season. The Lady Flames edged Campbell, 2-1, Friday afternoon, at Bryan Park Soccer Complex.
Liberty (14-4-1), the defending Big South Champions, return to the championship game after capturing the conference title last season with a 5-0 win over Radford at CCU Soccer Stadium in Conway, S.C. (Nov. 10, 2013).
The Lady Flames received goals on Friday from freshman forward Jennifer Knoebel and junior forward Crystal Elmers. Senior Helena Pereira earned an assist on Knoebel's marker. Campbell's (8-8-3) Nicole Connolly posted the lone goal for the Camels. The Lady Flames now await the winner of tonight's other semifinal matchup between No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina and No. 3 seed High Point. The championship game will air live on ESPN3, Sunday, at 2 p.m.
Liberty has won three straight contests and has posted an 11-1-1 record since September 7.
Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire 90 minutes, making two saves. Campbell netminder Alexis Connors also played the full contest, finishing with seven saves.
The Lady Flames outshot Campbell, 21-5, including 9-3 on goal. Liberty also held a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks.
Despite multiple looks in the opening period, Liberty did not light up the scoreboard until the 36th minute. Pereira slipped a pass to Knoebel inside the 18-yard box. Challenged by a defender, the freshman settled the ball on the right side and booted a shot into the lower left corner. Knoebel's fourth goal of the season gave Liberty a 1-0 lead.
Elmers followed with Liberty's second goal 38 seconds later. After a foul in the box, Elmers set up for a penalty kick and connected on a shot into the left corner. The junior's team-leading seventh goal of the year extended the Lady Flames advantage at halftime, 2-0.
In the second half, the Camels made things interesting toward the end of the 77th minute. Campbell's Alexis Prada dished a pass to Connolly, who angled a shot pas Van Noord into the left corner to cut the Liberty lead in half. The Lady Flames managed to hold off the Camels en route to the 2-1 final.