Women's Soccer defeats Liberty 2-1 on late goal from Leppikangas
Lynchburg, Va. – Pirjo Leppikangas scored in the 89th minute to give Campbell a 2-1 victory over Liberty (5-6-3, 4-0-2 BSC) on Saturday night. The senior from Helsinki, Finland secured her fourth game-winning goal in the team's six Big South Conference matches and also assisted on the team's first goal of the evening. The Camels (10-3-2, 4-0-2 BSC) are on an eight-match unbeaten streak.
Liberty jumped out in front just 1:32 into the match as Kelly Henion scored to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. That score would stand until the 26th minute when Kirsty Meyer (Fredericksburg, Va.) notched her fifth goal of the year of the year at the 25:50 mark, off assists from Leppikangas and Ashley Clark (Cary, N.C.).
As the two teams went into the locker room tied 1-1 at the half, Liberty maintained a 10-5 advantage in shots, but each team placed only one on frame in the first period. CU held a slight 6-5 advantage in the category during the second half.
Camel goalkeeper Ryann Torrero (Burbank, Calif.) and LU keeper Karen Blocker each made four saves apiece (three each in the second half), and the deciding goal came with just over a minute to play in regulation. Leppikangas controlled a loose ball from 25 yards out and drilled home her ninth goal of the season, tying Clark for the team lead in goals scored (nine) and points (24).
"What an exciting win! We have been under tremendous pressure to continue our unbeaten streak, pressure we place on ourselves to excel and tonight we lived up to it well," CU head coach Todd Clark said after the match. "Our attackers once again proved they are a force to be reckoned with and Pirjo's goal in the last minute is the stuff a conference MVP is made of."
Clark also credited Torrero (who holds a 1.03 goals against average in just under 1,400 minutes of action in goal this season) and Taylor Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) for anchoring the team's defensive efforts.
Campbell will return home on Thursday to the Eakes Athletic Complex, hosting Coastal Carolina at 5 p.m. Liberty will host VMI on Thursday at 7 p.m.