Senior captain Maria Owen recorded a goal and an assist in Liberty 4-1 win over Appalachian State, Friday. Liberty concludes the Winthrop Tournament, Sunday, squaring off with Marshall at 1 p.m.
The Liberty women's soccer team picked up its first win of 2010, Friday, defeating Appalachian State, 4-1, inside Eagle Stadium. With the victory, the Lady Flames collected their fourth win all-time against the Southern Conference power. Liberty's three-goal margin marks the largest victory over the Mountaineers in the series. Junior midfielder Aimee Luurtsema led the way for the Lady Flames with her five points two goals and one assist. With the pair of markers, the Grandville, Mich., native now has three on the season to lead Liberty. Both her point and goal totals were career highs for the midfielder. Midfielder Laura Nyholt and senior forward Maria Owen also added a goal apiece to complete Liberty's quartet of tallies. The Lady Flames offense pressed the net early, as Nyholt placed a shot in the lower right corner of the goal just 65 seconds into the contest. Nyholt's marker with just more than a minute gone in the contest came courtesy of a long pass from Luurtsema, giving Liberty the early 1-0 edge. The contest remained at 1-0 until 26:57, when Owen penetrated the Mountaineer defense and found Luurtsema open inside the penalty area for an uncontested shot on goal, which the midfielder buried to give the Lady Flames a 2-0 advantage. The Liberty defense held Appalachian State scoreless for nearly 31 minutes in the opening period, until the Mountaineers lit up the board in the 31st minute. A header by Katy Dodd off a corner kick from forward Meggie Graham resulted in a halftime score of 2-1 in favor of the Lady Flames. Liberty's defense stifled the Mountaineer's offensive attack in the second half, allowing only three shots in the entire stanza. Owen reemerged in the latter period, splitting two Mountaineer defenders and catching the goalkeeper out of position for an unassisted goal in the 54th minute. With the marker, the senior captain collected her first goal of the 2010 season and the 14th of her collegiate career. Luurtsema rounded out the Lady Flames scoring on the evening in the 66th minute, receiving a pass from midfielder Maggie Woody on the far side of the 18-yard box and placing it in the upper left corner of the goal for the 4-1 final. Nyholt played the full 90 minutes in the net for Liberty. The senior finished the contest with five saves, brining her total up to 21 on the season. The Lady Flames conclude their stay at Eagle Field this Sunday, squaring off with Marshall at 1 p.m. Be sure to check back with LibertyFlames.com for live stats and results following the game.