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Lady Flames Drop Conference Opener, 2-0

September 24, 2008  Lexington, Va.  RSS
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Maria Owen

Maria Owen

The VMI Keydets scored two goals early in the second half and then held off the Liberty Lady Flames, 2-0, Wednesday afternoon in the Big South Conference women's soccer opener for both squads at Patchin Field.

Liberty falls to 0-1 in conference play and 0-6-1 overall. VMI moves to 1-0 in conference and 3-5 overall.

The Lady Flames carried play throughout the first half, outshooting the Keydets, 9-2.

Liberty midfielder Mallory Neff (Sr., Sunbury, Pa.) opened the game with a shot which sailed high, with less than three minutes elapsed in the half. Bekah Moye (Fr., MF, Suwanee, Ga.) followed with an attempt in the fourth minute, forcing a save by VMI keeper Heidi Beemer.

The Lady Flames had their best chance of denting the scoreboard in the half during a flurry of shots over a four-minute span in the middle of the period. Beemer had to make a stop of a shot by Amy Oberlin (Sr., MF, Ada, Mich.) to begin the sequence in the 25th minute. A blast by Hope West (Sr., MF, Auburndale, Fla.) from the top of the penalty area in the 28th minute, finishing the flurry, also had to be repelled by the Keydet goalkeeper.

A shot by Liberty's Jordan Woody (Fr., F, Asheville, N.C.) went wide in the closing minutes of the half, as the teams went to intermission scoreless.

VMI quickly jumped on the scoreboard in the second half. Christina Gontarski scored on a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, only 1:08 into the period, to give the Keydets a 1-0 lead at 46:08.

Six minutes later, VMI added to its advantage with its second goal of the contest. Olivia Moore tipped in a pass from Christy Beach at 52:14 to make it 2-0, Keydets.

The visiting Lady Flames countered with several unanswered shot opportunities in the middle of the half. A shot from the wing in the 69th minute by Maria Owen (So., F, Mount Jackson, Va.), forced a save by Beemer, preventing Liberty from cutting its deficit in half.

Pressuring the net in the 80th minute, a well-placed shot by Silvia Betancourt (Fr., F, San Jose, Costa Rico) with Beemer out of position had to be cleared off the goal line by a VMI defender, sealing the VMI win.

Liberty outshot VMI, 19-12, in the contest, and also held the edge in corner kicks, 6-3.

Karen Blocker (Fr., GK, Bowie, Md.) made three saves in the Lady Flame net. Beemer recorded five saves for the Keydets.

Liberty continues Big South play on Saturday, when the Lady Flames welcome the Charleston Southern Buccaneers to the Liberty Soccer Field. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.