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No. 1 Seed Liberty Squares Off with No. 4 Seed High Point, Friday

November 5, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 1 Seed Liberty Squares Off with No. 4 Seed High Point, Friday

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After picking up a win in the Big South Championship quarterfinals on Sunday, the No. 1 seed Liberty women's soccer team now sets its sites on No. 4 seed High Point. The semifinals matchup takes place Friday at 4 p.m. at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.

The 2015 Big South regular-season champions will look to avenge last year's championship matchup against the Panthers, as High Point won the 2014 Big South title via penalty kicks (5-4) following a 2-2 tie (Nov. 9, 2014).

Liberty leads the all-time series versus the Panthers with a 15-10-3 record. The Lady Flames defeated High Point, 1-0, at Osborne Stadium during the regular season (Oct. 10). Sophomore forward Jennifer Knoebel posted the game-winning goal in the sixth minute on an assist from senior midfielder Brittany Aanderud.

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A Look at Liberty
The No. 1 seed Liberty women's soccer team is headed back to the Big South Women's Soccer Championship semifinals for the third straight year, after defeating Winthrop, 2-0, in the quarterfinals, Sunday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.

Liberty's goals came from senior forward Crystal Elmers and freshman midfielder Amanda Barrett. The goal by Barrett marked the first of her Liberty career for the midfielder.

Senior defender Jaime Bouffard and sophomore forward Jennifer Knoebel were credited with assists.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord finished with four saves to pick up her ninth shutout of the season and 32nd of her career. Van Noord, who holds the program record for career shutouts, needs one more to tie former Radford goalkeeper Che' Brown for the Big South all-time record (33). The netminder also leads the Big South with 107 saves on the year.

Knoebel is currently pacing the Lady Flames with 18 points (five goals, eight assists), followed by Brittany Aanderud, who has 12 points (three goals, six assists). Aanderud holds the Liberty and Big South all-time record in assists with 30. The midfielder garnered her 30th assist in Liberty's 1-0 win over Longwood on Oct. 27, helping the Lady Flames capture their third regular-season title.

High Point at a Glance
The Panthers enter the semifinals coming off a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 5 seed Longwood in the quarterfinals. Redshirt junior and Big South first team all-conference defender Kelsey Perrell paced High Point with two goals, while also adding an assist. The Panthers' shutout was their league-leading 13th of the season.

Bri Jean-Charles leads the Panthers offensively with six goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Alex Persiani, the Big South Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference with 10 shutouts, a goals-against average of 0.41 and a .899 save percentage.

Five Lady Flames Earn Big South All-Conference Honors
After garnering its second straight Big South regular-season championship, five Liberty women's soccer players have earned all-conference honors, as voted on by the conference's coaches.

Sophomore forward Jennifer Knoebel headlines the group of Lady Flames, picking up first team and all-academic team honors. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord and senior midfielder Rebekah Page were selected to the conference's second team. Freshmen forwards Devon Jones and Aly Hill each earned all-freshman team honors to round out Liberty's honorees.

Liberty's All-Time Marks in Big South Championship
The Lady Flames are 21-8-7 all-time in the Big South Championship, capturing titles in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2013. Liberty is first in the conference in tournament wins and third all-time with four championships. Radford and High Point are tied for the all-time record with five titles.

Last season marked Liberty's seventh finals appearance, tying UNC Asheville for the most Big South finals appearances in conference history.

The Lady Flames' most common opponents in the tournament have been High Point (4-1-1), Radford (4-1), Charleston Southern (2-1-1) and UNC Asheville (2-0-2). The Lady Flames have also played Coastal Carolina (2-0), Winthrop (1-1-1), Gardner-Webb (0-0-1), Campbell (1-0), Longwood (0-0-1) and former conference members UMBC (0-3), Elon (2-1), Howard (1-0), Towson (0-1) and Birmingham Southern (1-0).

Lady Flames and the Big South Championship
Liberty appeared in the finals for the second straight year in 2014, which resulted in High Point winning the conference title via penalty kicks (Nov. 9, 2014).

The Lady Flames captured their fourth Big South Championship in 2013, defeating Radford in the finals, 5-0 (Nov. 10, 2013). Liberty's other titles came in 2000, 2001 and 2005.

With their appearance in 2014, the Lady Flames have played in seven conference finals, posting a 4-1-2 record. Liberty made three straight trips to the Big South final from 1999 to 2001.

Liberty fell in its first appearance in the title game in 1999, 3-2, in overtime to Elon. The following year, the Lady Flames claimed their first championship with a 2-0 victory over Elon and then made it back-to-back titles with another 2-0 title-game win over the Phoenix in 2001.

Liberty returned to the title game in 2005 and added its third trophy since 2000, with a 3-0 victory over UNC Asheville.