Liberty Downs USC Upstate; HPU and GSU Battle to Draw

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Quartet of Tallies Propels Lady Flames to Victory
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Liberty women's soccer team got back into the win column in a big way, Sunday at Osborne Stadium, defeating USC Upstate, 4-0. The Lady Flames' goal total was the most since head coach Jessica Hain's squad posted six goals against UNC Asheville on Oct. 27, 2010.

Liberty's 28 shots were also the most since the Lady Flames racked up 29 attempts in a 2-1 win over VMI on Oct. 20, 2011.

Four different Lady Flames found the back of the net against the Spartans - Crystal Elmers, Helena Pereira, Rebecca Smith and Geena Swentik. Freshman midfielder Brittany Aanderud led the Lady Flames with two assists, while redshirt junior forward Kelly Henion and freshman midfielder Hannah Myers also chipped in helpers.

Liberty's shutout gives goalkeeper Karen Blocker the 13th of her career. The Bowie, Md., native now needs two more to tie Natalie Mayer (2001-2004) for the program record (15).

With the win, the Lady Flames improve to 2-2 on the year. The Spartans fall to 1-3 in 2012.

Controlling the offensive tempo from the outset, Liberty picked up its first goal of the contest in the 11th minute. Breaking away from a Spartans defender after a through ball by Aanderud, Elmers was left all alone with goalkeeper Sarah Plantz standing in her way. The freshman maneuvered around the netminder and tapped the ball in the back of the net, putting Liberty ahead, 1-0. The Fenwick, Ontario native's goal was her second of the season, having previously scored the lone goal in Liberty's season opener against Davidson on Aug. 17.

Later in the 18th minute, the Lady Flames managed to recreate the same play with different players. Following a through ball by Myers, Pereira was left with a one-on-one showdown with the goalkeeper. Much like her teammate Elmers, Pereira side stepped Plantz and tapped the ball into the back of the net, helping Liberty eventually take 2-0 lead into the locker room halftime. The marker was Pereira's first of the season and her first since scoring a golden goal in Liberty's 2-1 overtime victory over No. 4 High Point in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big South Championship.

Liberty outshot the Spartans in the first half, 12-3, while the visitors held a 2-1 advantage over the Lady Flames in corner kicks.

In the second half, Liberty continued to apply the offensive pressure. After nearly 30 minutes of scoreless action, the Lady Flames lit up the scoreboard in the 75th minute. Aanderud once again set up the play, sailing a crossing pass into the box to Henion. The forward tapped the ball to Smith, who placed it into back of the net to make it 3-0, Liberty. Smith's tally was the first of her Liberty career.

The Lady Flames rounded out the scoring on the afternoon in the final minute. With the Liberty offense advancing toward the net, Swentik blasted a shot from the top of the key outside the 18-yard box. The shot soared past the Spartans defense and into the right corner of the net, giving Swentik her first goal of the season and fifth in her collegiate career.

Liberty outshot the Spartans in the contest, 28-5. No corner kicks were taken in the second half, leaving USC Upstate with the 2-1 advantage.

Blocker played the entire 90 minutes in between the pipes for Liberty, snatching two saves. Plantz also played in net the full contest for the Spartans, making nine saves.

Liberty heads to the nation's capital on Friday, squaring off with American. The matchup marks the second meeting all-time between the two squads. In the previous contest, which took place on Sept. 28, 1993, American bested the Lady Flames at Liberty Soccer Field, 8-2. Game time for the rematch 19 years in the making is slated for 4 p.m.

HPU Ties Georgia Southern, 1-1
The High Point University women's soccer team played to a 1-1 tie on the road at Georgia Southern on Sunday afternoon in Statesboro, Ga. Junior Becca Hemby continued her hot start to the season with her fourth goal in four games for HPU.
 
With the draw, High Point moves to 0-1-3 on the season while Georgia Southern drops its first points of the season and falls to 2-0-1.
 
The Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when Hemby scored off a corner kick for her fourth tally of the season. HPU earned a corner kick when a breakaway by sophomore Jacky Kessler was cleared over the end line by the GSU defense. Junior Brooke Lisson took the kick from the right corner and hit an outswinger into the box where Hemby out jumped her marker and hammered the ball past the Eagles' keeper to give High Point the one-goal lead.
 
Georgia Southern came out pushing for a tying score in the second half pressuring the HPU defense and in the 74th minute broke through when an attempted clearance was intercepted by Nora El-Shami hit into the top right corner. El-Shami latched onto the ball at the top left corner of the penalty area and immediately turned and hit a curling shot into the upper 90.
 
El-Shami almost delivered GSU the lead just three minutes later with a line drive shot off a free kick that forced a leaping save off the crossbar by High Point's Ivy Cocklereece.
 
The game went to extra time where High Point nearly pulled out the win in the opening seconds as Hemby hit a shot from 20-yards out on the left side to the far top corner, forcing a diving save from GSU's Katie Merson. Hemby then managed to head the ball towards frame on the resulting corner kick but the effort did little to trouble the Eagles' keeper.
 
High Point's final chance to grab the win came in the 110th minute when junior Kelli Joline split two defenders at the edge of the box and hit a shot to the right side of goal but her attempt was stopped by a diving Merson, preserving the 1-1 stalemate.
 
The Panthers finished the game with a slight 16-14 edge in shots and a 10-8 advantage in shots on goal. Hemby proved to be trouble for the Eagles all afternoon, putting up five shots all on frame. Cocklereece earned the tie for HPU in her first collegiate game, stopping five shots while allowing one goal in 56 minutes.
 
High Point continues its current four-game road swing on Friday, Aug. 31 when the team heads to Boone, N.C., to take on Appalachian State at 7 p.m. The Panthers and Mountaineers met in an entertaining back-and-forth affair last season at Vert Stadium with ASU pulling out a 3-2 win. Hemby and Katie Harris each scored for High Point in the win. High Point is looking to pick up its first win over ASU in three meetings during the HPU Div. I era.

GWU Women's Soccer Drops Road Match at North Florida on Sunday
Jacksonville, Fla. - Gardner-Webb was unable to dig itself out of an early deficit and came out on the losing end of a 3-0 decision at North Florida on Sunday.

Gardner-Webb, which falls to 0-3 on the year with the loss, saw its offensive struggles continue early in the 2012 season, as the Runnin' Bulldogs are looking for their first goal three matches into the young season.

The host North Florida Ospreys put the Runnin' Bulldogs into an early hole with a goal in the fifth minute off the foot of Kathryne Husted.

Down 1-0 early for the second consecutive match, Gardner-Webb found itself in a battle against a stifling North Florida defense which limited the Runnin' Bulldogs to four shots in the opening half. Freshman forward Nichole Poppe (Youngsville, N.C.) gave the Runnin' Bulldogs its best scoring chances in the first half, taking all four of GWU's first half shots including one on goal in the eighth minute that was saved by UNF keeper Rachel Beninati.

GWU was put into a deeper hole in the 30th minute after Thea Linkfield put a straight-on shot into the back of the net to put North Florida on top 2-0.

Gardner-Webb continued to push offensively to procure a crucial goal late in the first half to cut the Ospreys' advantage in half, successfully keeping possession late in the opening period and swinging some of North Florida's momentum in its favor.

GWU midfielder Megan Curan (Mooresville, N.C.) gave the Runnin' Bulldogs a great scoring chance in the 37th minute when she played a high-arching cross along the end line directly in front of the UNF goal, but it was snagged by Beninati to keep the score at 2-0 in favor of the Ospreys heading into halftime.

Needing an offensive spark coming out of the break, the Runnin' Bulldogs found themselves instead on the defensive end of the field as North Florida continued to possess in GWU's defensive zone. UNF put the Runnin' Bulldogs in a 3-0 hole in the 51st minute with its third goal of the match.

A great move offensively by Sarah Morabito (Irmo, S.C.) in the 53rd minute gave GWU a great chance to get a goal back and some momentum going in its favor, but the shot attempt was just saved by the UNF keeper and deflected out of bounds. The ensuing corner kick went off target and North Florida regained possession.

Gardner-Webb continued to fight to gain quality offensive looks, as Poppe continued her solid offensive efforts to gain a scoring chance in the 57th minute. The freshman's strike went right into the arms of Beninati however and the score remained 3-0 in favor of UNF.

Despite not getting a ball past Beninati for the match, Gardner-Webb put forth its best offensive effort of the season, getting ten shots off for the match including six on goal, both season highs for the Runnin' Bulldogs. Nichole Poppe led the effort with five shots (two on goal), while Curan put one shot on goal and freshman Shelby Hooe (Mechanicsville, Va.) put both of her second half shot attempts on goal.

GWU keeper Amy Schmitt (Waxhaw, N.C.) found herself under fire throughout the match, as the Ospreys out shot the Runnin' Bulldogs 28-10 for the match. Schmitt tallied seven saves in a losing effort, giving her twenty on the season, while senior Mariah Peters (Lorton, Va.) collected one save in just over six minutes of scoreless action in goal.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will look for continued improvement after a week off from game play. GWU next travels to take on USC Upstate on Tuesday, September 4 in Spartanburg, S.C. at 7:00 p.m.

Presbyterian College Women's Soccer Stumbles at Clemson, 6-0
CLEMSON, S.C. - The Presbyterian College women's soccer team dropped a Sunday afternoon contest to the Clemson Tigers at Riggs Field, falling by a 6-0 tally.

PC moves to 0-3-0 while Clemson improves to 3-1-0.

The Blue Hose limited the Tigers to a lone goal in the opening half and made numerous runs on offense into the Clemson end.

Every dressed member of the PC squad saw action on the day and Alice Blackwell (Marietta, Ga.) played all 90 minutes on the back line. Keri O'Neill (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Christy Schofer (Powder Springs, Ga.) posted shots on goal for the Blue Hose.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Vanessa Laxgang sent a throw-in to the feet of Tabitha Padgett, who took a few steps outside the box and launched an arcing shot into the far side of the net.

The Blue Hose attack created several chances in the opening half, including a slick heel-pass from Sara Simpson (Columbia, S.C.) to set up Catie Smith (Greenville, S.C.) in front and a long, hard shot from Schofer in the 30th minute.

Jordan Broadway (Chapin, S.C.) turned away four shots in the first stanza, capping the period with a diving stop on a header in the final two minutes. Sydney Fontenot (Austin, Texas) took over for Broadway at halftime and made three saves in the final frame.

Clemson struck again shortly after the halftime break. Stacey Huddleston played the ball at the top of the box to Jenna Polonsky, whose shot reached the upper right corner to give Clemson a 2-0 advantage in the 53rd minute.

The Tigers then added four goals between the 64th and the 69th minute to go ahead, 6-0.

PC returns to action on Thursday with a short road trip to Spartanburg, S.C., to face Wofford at 7 p.m.

Highlanders Edged at ETSU, 1-0
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Ramey Kerns' goal in the 27th minute stood up as ETSU edged Radford, 1-0 on Sunday afternoon from Summers-Taylor Stadium.
 
The Highlanders (1-2) outshot the Buccaneers (4-0), 18-11, but were unable to put many on frame as ETSU keeper Sierra Campbell made just two saves to earn the shutout. Junior Rachel Conway (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada/Forest Heights Collegiate) registered a match-best five shots for the Highlanders, while Kerns paced the Buccaneers with four.
 
Kerns' strike came after Sarah Zadrazil intercepted a pass in the box and found Kerns with a cross for the match's lone tally. Her ball was just one of two shots on goal for the Buccaneers as the other was cleared off the line by a Radford defender in the second half.
 
Prior to the lone goal, Radford had several opportunities as it outshot ETSU, 9-1 in the first 22 minutes. The Highlanders were held without a shot the rest of the half. The Highlanders regrouped at the break and came out firing six shots in the first 16 minutes, forcing Campbell to make one of her saves on Conway's attempt in the 56th minute.
 
The Highlanders held a slight advantage in corner kicks, 3-2.
 
Radford returns home on Friday, Oct. 31 hosting Old Dominion at 7:00 p.m.

Winthrop Women's Soccer Falls 2-1 In Season Opener Against Western Carolina
ROCK HILL, SC - The Winthrop women's soccer team fell 2-1 in its 2012 season opener to the Western Carolina Catamounts on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field.

The loss drops the Lady Eagles to 0-1 on the new season, while the Catamounts improve to 1-2 overall.

Western Carolina tallied its first goal of the afternoon in the 28th minute off of a Winthrop own goal. On the play, Markie Studnicky took on a defender just outside the 18-yard box before playing in a cross which deflected off of a Lady Eagle defender and into the net. The Catamounts would get the game-winner just under ten minutes later on a glancing header by Christine Kaznowski in the 37th minute. Kaznowski was able to get onto the end of a cross played in by Mackenzie Cole from the far side.

Western Carolina outshot the Lady Eagles 10-4 in the first half and 5-3 in attempts on-net.

Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Winthrop pulled within a goal in the 67th minute when Lia Gorden found the back of the net off a pass from Devin Puckett. The play started down the right side of the field with Krystyna Freda who played a cross into Puckett. Puckett let the ball run across the face of the goal enticing Catamount goalkeeper Katie Jacobs to come out and challenge. In the face of the challenge Puckett laid the ball back to Gorden who shot into an open net near side.

Krystyna Freda had a team-high five shots in the match for the Lady Eagles with three coming on goal. Laura Greb led the way for Western Carolina with three shots and two on-goal for the afternoon. In her first career start for Winthrop, goalkeeper Amelia Henderson tallied seven saves while her counterpart Katie Jacobs recorded eight saves for the match.

The Lady Eagles will be back in action on Wednesday, August 29 when they travel to Orangeburg, SC to take on the Bulldogs of South Carolina State at 7 p.m.

Coastal Women's Soccer Falls, 2-1
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina women's soccer team (1-2-0) dropped a 2-1 decision to Western Michigan (2-1-0) in a game that was part of the Coastal Carolina Soccer Classic Sunday afternoon at the CCU Soccer Field.

The Chanticleers mounted a second-half comeback and closed within a goal when freshman Meagan Borger scored unassisted in the 88th minute for her first career goal.

Borger got to a loose ball on the right wing and put a high shot off the Western Michigan goalkeepers hands. The ball caromed forward and rolled into the net.

The Chants were unable to get the equalizer in the final minute and a half of the game, but finished strongly in the final 45 minutes despite being shorthanded.

Junior forward Christina Stern did not play in the game due to injury, while sophomore forward Kacey Kelley and sophomore midfielder Rylie Johnson left in the first half and did not return.

Still, Coastal created some good scoring opportunities in the second half and outshot the Broncos 7-4.

Trailing 1-0, the Chants got their best offensive chance 15 minutes into the second half when junior forward Cisca Okoko chased down a through-pass up the middle and one-touched a low shot just inside the 18-yard box, The Western goalkeeper made a diving stop and the rebound came to freshman forward Charlotte Ratcliff, but her shot attempt was blocked.

The Broncos, who got on the board first in the 15th minute, scored again in the 82nd off of a free kick. Trailing by two goals, Coastal tried to apply more pressure and was able to break through on Borger's late goal.

Junior goalkeeper Megan Spencer made five saves for the Chants, who next travel to Elon for a 7 p.m. game on Thursday.

UNC Asheville Women's Soccer Falls At UNCG, 7-0
GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNCG scored four goals in the first half and then three in the second en route to a 7-0 victory over the visiting UNC Asheville women's soccer team on Sunday afternoon at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.

With the setback to the Spartans the Bulldogs drop to 0-3 on the season, while UNCG improves to 2-1.

The Spartans registered 30 shots in the contest, posting 17 shots on goal. Asheville keeper Heather Muller posted 10 saves in the contest.
 
Cat Barnekow and Tabitha McHale each scored a pair of goals for UNCG, with Barnekow drawing first blood with a goal in the fourth minute. Zoe Fishman picked up three assists in the game, including an assist on both of Barnekow's goals.
 
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Thursday evening when they take on the Spartans of USC Upstate. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C.