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Lady Flames Play Hatters to Scoreless Tie

September 21, 2008  DeLand, Fla.  RSS
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Karen Blocker stopped eight shots in recording her first collegiate shutout.

Karen Blocker stopped eight shots in recording her first collegiate shutout.

In an evenly played game, the visiting Liberty Lady Flames and their host, the Stetson Hatters, battled to a 0-0, two overtime tie, Sunday afternoon at the Stetson Soccer Complex.

Liberty moves to 0-5-1 on the year, while Stetson is now 2-4-2. The tie was the first in a regular- season match for the Lady Flames since Sept. 30, 2006, when Liberty and UNC Asheville played to a scoreless draw at the Liberty Soccer Field.

The homestanding Hatters opened the game, outshooting the Lady Flames, 5-1, through the first 22 minutes. However, the Liberty defense blocked each shot in front of the Lady Flame net, not allowing one of Stetson's attempts to reach goalkeeper Karen Blocker (Fr., Bowie, Md.). Meanwhile, Liberty's Ashley Braam (Sr., MF, Grand Rapids, Mich.) attempted the lone shot of the span for the Lady Flames in the seventh minute, only to have it blocked out in front also.

A Liberty shot in the 23rd minute by Amy Oberlin (Sr., F, Ada, Mich.) forced a save by Stetson goalkeeper Andrea Garavaglia, beginning a flurry of five straight Lady Flame shot attempts over the next 16 minutes. During the stretch, a shot by Maggie Woody in the 32nd minute (Jr., MF, Asheville, N.C.) came the closest to getting the Lady Flames on the scoreboard, but Garavaglia was able to make the stop to prevent a score.

After a Stetson attempt was again blocked by a Liberty defender in the 41st minute, Liberty was able to get a shot in transition by Ally Erving (R-Jr., F, Anchorage, Alaska), forcing another save by the Hatter goalkeeper.

In the opening half, Liberty outshot Stetson, 9-6. However, none of the six Hatter shots were handled by Blocker, as the Lady Flames' defense blocked each shot attempt by their host in the period.

Liberty pressured the Stetson goal, following a corner kick to start the second half. A shot by Braam was blocked in front in the 48th minute. Not allowing the Hatters to clear their zone, Silvia Betancourt (Fr., F, San Jose, Costa Rica) forced another save by Garavaglia with a shot in the 50th minute.

In Stetson's first attempt of the half, Alexis Hermosa's kick went off the crossbar in the 54th minute, keeping the contest scoreless.

The teams traded shots throughout the remainder of the second half, without scoring. Blocker made her first save of the contest in the 66th minute, on a shot by Tessa Gavilsky. And later, she stopped a header from in close by Gavilsky in the 85th minute.

Liberty's best chance to take a lead came in the 85th minute on a blast by Oberlin, which was turned away by Garavaglia, sending the match to overtime.

Early in the first 10-minute, overtime period, the Lady Flames went on the attack, forcing two corner kicks. A shot by Woody in the 95th minute was corralled by Garavaglia.

Stetson countered at the end of the first overtime. Gavilsky fired back-to-back shots at the Liberty net in the final minute of the period, but Blocker was up to the task, repelling both attempts to send the contest to a second overtime.

Both teams had several shot attempts in the second overtime, but strong play by Blocker and Garavaglia kept the game scoreless.

Three shots by Liberty's Maria Owen (So., F, Mount Jackson, Va.) were turned back by Garavaglia, including a shot with less than two minutes left.

Blocker matched the Hatter keeper, by stopping shots by Courtney Jenista in the 105th minute and one by Hermosa during the game's final minute.

Not only was the game a draw on the scoreboard, but in shot attempts also, as both teams attempted 21 shots in the contest. Liberty held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Woody led the Lady Flames with six shots in the contest. Stetson's Gavilsky had nine shot attempts to lead all players in the game.

After not having to make a save in the first 45 minutes of play, Liberty's Blocker recorded eight saves in the recording her first collegiate shutout. Stetson's Garavaglia had 10 saves.

Liberty begins Big South Conference play in its next contest on Wednesday. The Lady Flames travel over the Blue Ridge Mountains for a match in Lexington, Va., against the VMI Keydets. Match time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.