Camels pick up key Big South win at Liberty in OT

Sarah Paul (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Sarah Paul (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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LYNCHBURG, Va. --- Sarah Paul scored the game-winning goal four minutes into overtime to give Campbell a key 12-11 Big South Conference victory at Liberty on Saturday. The Camels sit in first place in the league with a perfect 3-0 record.

Liberty (3-10, 2-1 BSC) scored three-straight goals to take an 11-10 advantage with 56 seconds to go in regulation. Melissa Placek answered for the Camels (6-6, 3-0) with the game-tying goal with 27 second on the clock and the Campbell defense held the Flames off the board for the remainder of the contest to force overtime.

Each goalkeeper made a key save on both team's first offensive possession of the extra frame. Paul received the ball after Merredith Bechler's stop on the other end and took it the length of the field for the unassisted game-winning goal.

Placek led the Camels with three goals while Paul, Tina Ricci and Mackenzie Koeller each scored twice. Kayla Reilly, the reigning Big South Offensive Player of the Week assisted on a game-high four goals while Paul added a pair of helpers.

Liberty took a 6-3 lead with 5:13 left in the first half after each team scored back-to-back goals to open the contest in the first 12 minutes. Sami Smit and Ricci each scored for the Camels to cut the deficit to 6-5, but a Flame goal with 1:36 on the clock gave Liberty a 7-5 lead at the half.

Campbell opened the second half with four straight goals to take its first lead of the game, and led 9-7 with 18:25 left in the contest. Liberty broke the long scoring drought before Katlin Steinbauer struck from the free position to give the Camels a 10-8 lead with 11:53 on the clock.

Carly White led the Flames with four goals and an assist while Paige Britton scored three times. Brianna McCaffrey found the back of the cage twice.

Bechler earned the win in goal with 10 saves while Katherine Widrick took the loss with five saves. Campbell held a 15-10 advantage on the draw while Liberty held a narrow 29-28 advantage in shots.

The Camels will play their second-straight road contest on Wednesday when they take on Longwood in Farmville, Virginia at 3 p.m.