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First Half Goals Propel Liberty Past High Point

September 27, 2006  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Amy Oberlin scored her fourth goal of the season Wednesday.

Amy Oberlin scored her fourth goal of the season Wednesday.

Liberty's Amy Oberlin and Kendall Bartholomew each netted first half goals as the Lady Flames and then held off a strong second half effort by the High Point Panthers for a hard-fought 2-1 victory, Wednesday afternoon in a Big South Conference women's soccer match at Liberty Soccer Field.

With the win, Liberty improves to 2-1 in the Big South and 4-6 overall, while High Point falls to 1-2 in conference action and to 1-9 overall.

After the two sides traded shots through the first 20 minutes of the contest, the Lady Flames began pressuring the Panther defense. In the next 12 minutes of play, Liberty out shot High Point, 5-2, forcing Panther goalkeeper Marisa Abbott to make several saves.

The Lady Flames broke through at 33:43 for the contest's first goal.  Ashley Braam (Jr., F, Grand Rapids, Mich.) sent a crossing pass into the box, which Hannah Sullivan (Jr., F, Minden, Nev.) headed down for midfielder Amy Oberlin (So., Ada, Mich.).  The midfielder sent a blast to the bottom left corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season and a 1-0 Liberty lead.

Less than four minutes later, the Lady Flames extended their advantage to 2-0 in the 37th minute.  Freshman midfielder Heather Bowling (Waxhaw, N.C.) sent a pass through the box for forward Kendall Bartholomew (Jr., Thaxton, Va.), who put the ball home for her second goal of the season.

Returning the Liberty pressure of the first half, High Point went on the attack in the second half and halved the Lady Flame lead in the 77th minute. Midfielder Kelly Farrell pushed the ball up the right side and sent a through pass to Traci Andersen, who scored her second goal of the season.

The Panthers continued the attack of the Lady Flames' net in the final 13 minutes of play, but could not get the equalizer.  In the game's final minute, a chip shot by Andersen went off the crossbar and bounced out, preventing High Point from knotting the score.

On the afternoon, High Point outshot Liberty, 17-13, with the Lady Flames holding an 11-6 advantage in the first half. The Panthers reversed that in the second half with an 11-2 advantage in shot attempts. 

Katherine Neff (Sr., Guelph, Ontario) made five saves in the Liberty net, while High Point's Marisa Abbott made four saves and the Panthers recorded two team saves.

Mandee Wheelock (Sr., MF, Front Royal, Va.) and Oberlin led the Lady Flames with three shots apiece, while Andersen led High Point with six.

Liberty continues its five-game Big South Conference swing on Saturday as the Lady Flames host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs.  Match time at Liberty Soccer Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.