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Liberty Falls in Big South Semifinals to Longwood

November 3, 2017  Greensboro, N.C.  RSS
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Liberty Falls in Big South Semifinals to Longwood

Liberty saw its season come to an end in the Big South Championship semifinals Friday night at Bryan Park with a 2-0 loss to Longwood. Liberty, the No. 2 seed, gave up two second-half goals to the No. 3 seed Longwood ending the season with a 10-7-3 record.

In their first shot of the second half, the Lancers would capitalize as Emilie Kupsov in the 71st minute to put Longwood up 1-0 late in the match. Liberty came close to providing the equalizer in the 79th minute when Habuda fired off a shot inside the box. The attempt went past the goalkeeper but Longwood's Sydney Wallace was there in front of goal to prevent the goal. Less than a minute later, Sarah Erickson had a header that was on target but Maria Kirby came up with another key save.

Emily Mothersbaugh gave Longwood a two-goal cushion when she scored in the 81st minute.

Longwood's Kirby recorded her 11th shutout of the season with two saves while Melody Jayroe faced 11 shots on the night and recorded three saves.

Liberty got an exceptional start in the game, with a good look at goal in the first 10 minutes of action. In the ninth minute, Isabella Habuda placed a great cross right in front of goal for Devon Jones but the header went just wide of the goal. Longwood quickly responded with two quality looks inside the box. The Lancers' best chance came in the 18th off a header within six yards but Jayroe jumped at the crossbar to punch the ball out, preventing the goal. 

Both teams used the first half to get a feel for the game on offense as both teams combined for six shots throughout the first half. Despite Longwood attempting five of the six shots, Liberty's backline allowed just two shots on goal.

Liberty came out in the second half looking like it would score the first goal of the game within the first five minutes of action. In the 49th minute, Sarah Erickson had a header inside the box, off a Sami Santos corner but the attempt just went above the crossbar. Less than a minute later, Gabrielle Farrell had a breakaway and a pass into the box for Devon Jones was a bit long, as her shot attempt went wide of goal.

The Lady Flames continued to push looking to even the score but all throughout the night, Longwood's Kirby would come up with huge saves, keeping Liberty off the scoreboard. Liberty loses eight seniors in Tori Collar, Baylee Gillmore, Isabella Habuda, Ashleigh Hill, Jordan Kestel, Jennifer Knoebel, Bertha Martinez and Sami Santos. ­