Lancers’ scoreless streak snapped

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Liberty generated goals from five different players and scored multiple times in both halves to snap the Longwood Womens Soccer teams’ multi-game shutout streak during a 5-0 win Sunday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.

Liberty forward Alexis Salazar assisted on two of those goals to spark the Flames (4-3-0) to a fourth consecutive win and their highest-scoring game of the season. Liberty became only the fourth team to score multiple goals against the Lancers this season and broke up a scoreless stretch that dated back three games to the second half of a 2-1 win at Howard on Sept. 2.

“That first 20 minutes was easily our worst performance of the season, and I take full responsibility for not having our team prepared to play,” said Longwood head coach Todd Dyer. “We were flat, didn’t do enough to keep the ball, and defensively we allowed them way too much time and space, which they took full advantage of.”

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Those first 20 minutes saw Liberty break out to an early 2-0 lead following an eighth-minute strike from Maddy Oliver and a follow-up goal in the 14th minute from Kasey Jamieson. Both of those came against senior goalkeeper Jordan Horacek, who entered the game with back-to-back shutouts and a 228-minute scoreless streak but ended that tear after Salazar invaded Longwood’s backfield and put a perfect pass on the hip of Oliver, who punched it in for the go-ahead score.

Liberty (4-3-0) spread the rest of its goals intermittently throughout the game, following Jamieson’s 14th-minute strike with another one just 1:02 before halftime as Madison Ellis’ corner kick redirected off a Longwood defender in a near-goal scrum.

At the break, Longwood turned to season-opening starter Mary Kate Levush to take over in goal, but Liberty stayed hot and welcomed her to the game 10 minutes after she entered with another goal, this one from Meredith King. Levush went on to record three saves against the Flames’ high-powered attack, but Briana Meyers broke through one last time in the final five minutes — also on an assist from Aalazer — to run the final score to 5-0.

Liberty needed just eight shots on goal and 13 shots total to rack up their five goals and hand the Lancers their biggest margin of defeat since a 5-0 Big South quarterfinal defeat on the road at High Point on Oct. 31, 2015.

“The only thing that matters now is how we respond,” Dyer said. “We have that opportunity next weekend when we begin conference play.”

Sunday’s loss marks Longwood’s final nonconference bout before opening Big South play, which begins next Saturday, Sept. 18, at rival Winthrop. That game will also be Longwood’s sixth consecutive on the road.