Liberty women's soccer concluded the first week of its season at Osborne Stadium against VCU in the Lady Flames' home opener. Liberty was in an even battle with the Rams all night but a late penalty kick goal sparked a 2-0 win for the Rams.
Six different players attempted a shot for Liberty with five of the attempts on goal. The Lady Flames fall to 0-1-1 on the season.
It was a slow start on offense for both teams as one shot was attempted in the first 17 minutes of action. The lone shot during that time came off the leg of a VCU player, as the ball bounced around the box off a corner kick and led to a shot attempt from Amanda Hallesjo. Liberty's goalkeeper Tori Collar rushed back in front of goal to make a diving save to keep VCU scoreless.
Midway through the first half, Liberty's offense started to pick up with three shots in a 10-minute span. All three attempts were on goal, starting with a Kayleigh Kardos shot from 20 yards that VCU keeper Audrey Sanderson had to reach to prevent a goal just below the crossbar. Following Kardo's attempt, Lissi Gordon was able to get the ball inside the box off the corner kick, where she fired an attempt from eight-yards out, but Sanderson came up with a save.
Ending the first half scoreless, both teams attempted three shots, while Liberty had three on goal compared to VCU's one. Liberty Head Coach Lang Wedemeyer got a lot of fresh legs on the field with seven subs. All three of Liberty's shot attempts came from substitutes.
Liberty started of quick in the second half with a shot inside the box in the first five minutes. Gabrielle Farrell was displayed some fancy footwork at midfield to get past her defender and sent a pass forward that led Isabella Habuda into the box. Habuda passed to Jennifer Knoebel for an eight-yard shot, but VCU' Sanderson would come up with another save.
VCU jumped on the scoreboard after Susanna Friedrichs was fouled inside the box. Maddi Santo took the penalty kick and converted in the upper right 90 to take a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute. The Rams sealed the win in the 89th minute with a goal from Lyndsey Gutzmer.
Liberty will return to action on Thursday, Aug. 24, when the Lady Flames travel to Washington, D.C. to take on George Washington. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at GW Soccer Field.