Maddy Murphy runs

Eastern Kentucky University midfielder Maddy Murphy #16, works the ball up the field against the Liberty University Flames on October 21, 2022. The Colonels ended up losing, 3-0.  

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) (4-4-2) finished off their ASUN Conference regular season against the Liberty University (8-0-2) Flames on Oct. 21 at the EKU Soccer Complex. EKU was defeated 3-0 by Liberty, but the Colonels have sealed their spot in the ASUN Conference post-season playoffs. 

The last matchup between the Colonels and the Flames came in the 2021 season on Oct. 29 where the Colonels won, 1-0, in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Liberty started the game strong with a shot from forward Ivy Garner that went just wide in the third minute. 

EKU came back in the 14th minute with an attack led by midfielder Celia Lopez, but a last second tackle by Liberty midfielder Rachel DeRuby kept the Flames in the game. 

Liberty continued their momentum in the 16th minute with a shot from forward Halle Engle towards the bottom left corner, but it was saved by EKU goalkeeper Carly Dean. 

In the 21st minute, Liberty midfielder McKinley Burkett missed a promising chance with a shot that flew over the EKU goal. 

The Flames kept the pressure on the Colonels with an attacking possession in the 29th minute led by forward Ava Goodman. Goodman cut in from the right for a shot, but it was saved into the post by EKU goalkeeper Dean. 

Liberty took the lead in the 30th minute with an Ava Goodman goal from a Liberty corner. 

In the 35th minute, EKU tried to get back in the game with a free kick from senior Myla Sharpless, but the shot went over the crossbar. 

The last action of the first half was an EKU corner taken by Sharpless, but it was cleared by a Liberty defender. 

EKU ended the first half down by one goal with a single shot compared to Liberty’s nine shots. The Colonels had two corner kicks to the Flame’s three corner kicks. 

EKU began the second half with  freshman Maddy Murphy dribbling through the Liberty defensive line to find sophomore Gretta Gunn for a shot, but it was saved by Liberty goalkeeper Ainsley Leja in the 46th minute. 

Liberty bounced back one minute later with a shot from midfielder Grace Spade that was saved by Colonel goalkeeper Dean. 

The Flames extended their lead to two when forward Meredith King scored with an assist from midfielder Saydie Holland in the 57th minute. 

The first booking of the game came in the 58th minute when EKU forward Maddy Lemery received a yellow card after a hard tackle on a Liberty defender. 

In the 68th minute, EKU goalkeeper Dean saved a shot from Liberty midfielder Briana Myers The rebound was scored by forward Annie Slovak to extend the Flames’ lead to three. 

During the play, Colonel defender Lucy Ream was injured after a tackle in the six-yard box and was subbed out for defender Lydia Jervier. 

Liberty pushed for a fourth goal in the 79th minute with an attack from Spade, but the shot was just wide of the Colonel goal. 

The last action of the match happened in the 82nd minute from Liberty forward Holland with a shot right outside the box that dragged just left of the goal. 

EKU ended the match with five total shot attempts compared to Liberty’s nineteen, and both teams had three corners each. The Flames ended the game with nine fouls to the Colonels’ eight.

EKU completed the ASUN Conference regular season and secured the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament. The Colonels will travel to Lynchburg, Virginia for the first round of the ASUN Conference post-season tournament taking on No. 4 seed Kennesaw State University on Oct. 27 at 7:00 p.m. 

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