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Owen Scores as Liberty Defeats UNC Asheville

October 30, 2009  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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Lady Flame Jordan Woody

Lady Flame Jordan Woody

On a windy day in Asheville, N.C., Maria Owen scored a goal in her third consecutive game, as the Lady Flames defeated the Bulldogs of UNC Asheville, 1-0, at Greenwood Field. With the win, the Lady Flames take sole possession of first place in the Big South standings, with one match left in the regular season.

The Bulldogs took the first shot of the contest in the fourth minute, when Leilani Halkiotis' header off a corner kick sailed over the goal.

UNC Asheville had another scoring chance in the eighth minute of play on a free kick. McKenna Stockhausen made an attempt from close range that was saved by Liberty goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt.

The Lady Flames countered in the 10th minute. Owen found herself one-on-one with UNC Asheville goalkeeper Megan Dent, and tucked a shot into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 Liberty lead. The goal was Owen's sixth of the season.

The Bulldogs came close again a minute later, when Mary Kate Tucker blasted one from the left side, but Nyholt handled the shot and made the stop.

Jordan Woody took the next Liberty shot at 33:20 after a Bulldog turnover, but just missed over the crossbar.

Owen broke away from the UNC Asheville defense again at 40:23, but her shot was stopped by Dent, as the Lady Flames went into halftime with the 1-0 lead.

Silvia Betancourt took a long shot from the right side, Liberty's first of the second half, in the 62nd minute, but it was caught by new Bulldog keeper Veronica Lazar.

Nyholt made a diving save in the 67th minute, when Katy Beeler sent a blast from close range, maintaining the Liberty lead.

Owen took another shot at 70:39 from 20 yards out on the left side, but Lazar made the save.

The Bulldogs had three chances late in the second half, but attempts by Beeler and Chloe Small-McCleary missed wide, while Nyholt made a key save with five minutes remaining, stopping a blast by Sara Marie Holland.

Strong defensive play by Liberty's Elia Lake highlighted the final minutes of play, helping the Lady Flames closed out a 1-0 victory.

UNC Asheville outshot Liberty, 13-5, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 6-2.

Nyholt, in her second start for the Lady Flames this year, recorded seven saves in the contest.

For UNC Asheville, Dent made one save in the first half, while Lazar recorded two saves in the second 45 minutes.

With the win, the Lady Flames improve to 9-7-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the Big South. The Bulldogs, now out of contention for next week's conference tournament, drop to 4-10-1 overall and 1-7-0 in Big South play.

Liberty concludes its regular season Sunday afternoon at Presbyterian. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m.

UNC Asheville will conclude its season Sunday as well, hosting High Point at 2 p.m.