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Lady Flames And Bulldogs Play to Scoreless Tie

September 30, 2006  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Goalkeeper Katherine Neff made four saves Saturday.

Goalkeeper Katherine Neff made four saves Saturday.

With defense on display, neither team could cash in any scoring opportunities as the Liberty Lady Flames and UNC Asheville Bulldogs battled to a 0-0 2 OT tie, in Big South women's soccer action Saturday afternoon at Liberty Soccer Field.

With its first tie of the season, Liberty moves to 2-1-1 in Big South Conference play and 4-6-1 overall, while UNC Asheville is now 1-0-2 in the conference and 3-3-2 overall.

The contest opened as a midfield battle. Neither the Bulldogs nor the Lady Flames got a shot opportunity until the game's 14th minute, when Liberty's Hannah Sullivan (Jr., MF, Minden, Nev.) put a shot on net which was easily stopped by UNC Asheville goalkeeper Veronica Lazar.  The Bulldog's Ashleigh Carter would get the match's next shot five minutes later, forcing Katherine Neff (Sr., Guelph, Ont.) in the Liberty net to make a save.

The two traded shots throughout the rest of the half with neither team being able to break through as the contest went to intermission without a score.  In an evenly-played half, the Lady Flames edged the Bulldogs, 6-4, in shots.

In the second half, Liberty was able to bunch together three shots early to put pressure on the UNC Asheville defense, but none found net.  The best opportunity of the afternoon came on the last shot of the sequence as forward Ashley Braam (Jr., F, Grand Rapids, Mich.) took a through ball and tried to flick it over Lazar's head for a score.  However, the two collided with Braam's shot going left into the side netting.

The Bulldogs also had a chances early as midfielders Lauren Turnburke and Sara Marie Holland both got free for shots, but Neff made the save each time.

Down the stretch, the Lady Flames got scoring opportunities in both the 75th and 76th minutes on free kicks, but one of the Maggie Woody (Fr., MF, Asheville, N.C.) attempts went wide and the other was stopped by Lazar.  Liberty also had a chance on a shot by Amy Oberlin (So., MF, Ada, Mich.) in the 82nd minute, but it hooked left and went wide.

UNC Asheville also had opportunities at the end of regulation.  A shot by forward Robyn Busha in the 85th minute went wide, while forward Joy Haynes was unable to convert an open look in the 89th minute, putting her shot high over the goal.

In the first overtime, the Bulldogs outshot the Lady Flames, 3-0, but did not get any of their shots on goal.

Liberty held the shot advantage in the second overtime as midfielder Mandee Wheelock (Sr., Front Royal, Va.) put two shots wide left, while UNC Asheville's lone shot by Haynes was high.

On the afternoon, the Lady Flames outshot UNC Asheville, 19-13, while the Bulldogs enjoyed the advantage in corner kicks, 8-2. 

Both goalkeepers had strong performances as both Neff and Lazar made four save apiece in 120 minutes of play.

UNC Asheville's Carter led all players on the afternoon with five shots in the match, while Oberlin, Wheelock and Woody had three apiece to lead Liberty.

Liberty continues its five-game Big South Conference swing by traveling to Lexington, Va. on Tuesday to square off with the VMI Keydets.  Match time is set for 4:30 p.m.