Monday, September 1, 2014

Continuing NorPac dominance

Field Hockey remains unbeaten in conference play with a win over Longwood

Sisters Natalie, Bethany and Serena Barr were the main sources of offense for the Lady Flames (10-4, 5-0 NorPac) in the field hockey team’s 6-1 victory over the Longwood Lancers Wednesday, Oct. 17, accounting for five goals and three assists.

ON THE RUN — Natalie Barr (29) scored three Lady Flames goals. Photo credit: Angie Pacitti

ON THE RUN — Natalie Barr (29) scored three Lady Flames goals. Photo credit: Angie Pacitti

Natalie Barr scored three goals, and Bethany Barr added two scores of her own for the Lady Flames. Serena Barr assisted on two goals as well. Sarah Gipe scored the Lady Flames remaining goal.
“Today’s performance was one of our best all season, hands down,” Lady Flames Head Coach Jodi Murphy said. “The attack was playing at speed, which is what we like. This was the closest we’ve played to 70 minutes all season.”

The Lady Flames scored exactly five minutes into the game and never looked back, scoring the first four goals of the contest and outshooting the Lancers 29-5. Lady Flames goalie Ann Jefferis was subject to only four shots on goal, saving three of them. The Lancers struggled to keep the ball in their half of the field the entire game, yielding seven penalty corners to the Flames, while Liberty only yielded two.

Natalie Barr dominated offensively the entire game, putting 12 shots on goal. Her first goal of the game set the tone for her afternoon, as she fired the ball into the exact left corner of the cage to give the Lady Flames a 2-0 advantage. The Lancers had no answer for her blend of speed and power, constantly being outraced and overpowered for the ball. Her hat trick marked her second in two games, as she also scored three times versus Appalachian State. With six goals and three assists over the past two games, Natalie Barr now has a team-leading 14 goals and nine assists on the year.

“This was the best game that Natalie (Barr) has played all season,” Murphy said. “She was just lights out. She was unstoppable. I’m really, really pleased with her effort.”

The sisters’ parents were in attendance for the game, which may not seem odd, except for the fact that they live in Northern Ireland. Described as “hockey-obsessed” by daughters Serena and Bethany Barr, Richard and Janice Barr took off work for more than a month and flew to the U.S. to see their three daughters play field hockey at Liberty. Their older sister Rebecca Barr recently returned to Northern Ireland after spending a few weeks in Lynchburg. Their parents will be in Lynchburg until the NorPac Tournament ends Nov. 9.

“When I hear (my parents) from the sideline, it gets me going and gets me more competitive,” Natalie Barr said. “Those shouts from the stands really encourage me and help me play better. It’s so nice, instead of us relaying (the results of the game) back to them, for them to see it with their own eyes.”

The Flames will attempt to build on their five-game winning streak, going on the road for their next three games at Georgetown, Davidson and Appalachian State.

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