Rachel Hetrick's goal snapped a 1-1 tie, giving the Liberty Flames a 2-1 Senior Night victory over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, Saturday evening, at Liberty Soccer Field.
Liberty got on the scoreboard first at the 38:37 mark. After a Lady Flames' player was pulled down in the box, senior Rachel Bendzlowicz (D, Holland, Pa.), playing in her final home game, scored the ensuing penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.
After intermission, Coastal Carolina knotted the score when a header by Kristina Fisher deflected off a Liberty defender and into the net at 40:54. The Lady Flames' Hetrick (So., F, Grantville, Pa.) then sent her game-winner in off a free kick from 20 yards out at 50:54. It was the second of the season for the forward.
On the night, Liberty out shot Coastal Carolina, 13-8, while holding the edge in corners, 3-1.
Lady Flames' senior goalkeeper Sonia Rodriguez (Fairfax, Va.) made four saves on the night in her final home appearance, while the Chanticleers' Jaclyn Stoll stopped six shots.
"Tonight was all about our seniors," stated Liberty head coach James Price. "And, on top of that, this game meant a lot in the conference, so we came out very motivated."
"Coastal (Carolina) is a very, very good team. They come in having scored a lot of goals, so with us being a good defensive team, we felt up to the challenge of matching up defensively."
"All three of our seniors have grown so much individually as players and people, "continued Price. "They've developed leadership and matured well all-around, so it was good to get a win for them tonight."
With the win in the key Big South Conference match and their last regular season match, Liberty now moves to 5-3 in conference and 9-6-2 overall. Coastal Carolina falls to 5-3 also in conference and 13-5 overall. Liberty holds any tiebreakers over Coastal Carolina for Big South tournament seeding.
The Lady Flames have now won four-straight games, the longest winning streak by the team since 2000 Lady Flames won six straight.
Before playing in their final home game, senior Lady Flames Sarah Davis (F, Modesto, Calif.) Bendzlowicz and Rodriguez were honored for their contributions to Liberty women's soccer.
Both teams now await the outcome of the rest of this weekend's Big South matches to determine their seed and who they will play in the upcoming Big South tournament. The Big South tournament gets underway with four matches on Thursday.