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Field Hockey Falls on the Road at Cal, 1-0
Liberty capped its weekend road trip to California with a tough defeat, falling to the host California Golden Bears, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Maxwell Family Field. The Lady Flames suffered their first loss of the season, dropping to 2-1, while Cal upped its record to 3-1 on the year.
Defense was the theme of the first half, as both teams struggled to record shots. The Lady Flames made several runs into the Golden Bears' circle, but were unable to get off a shot in the opening 35 minutes of the game.
Cal nearly tallied the contest's first score on its second shot of the game midway through the first stanza. Jordan O'Reilly redirected a shot toward the cage, but Liberty goalkeeper Ann Jefferis swatted the ball away to keep the game scoreless.
Liberty notched its first shot of the game with 24:30 remaining in the second half. Hannah Jones inserted the Lady Flames' second penalty corner of the game into the circle to the stopper, Bethany Barr. Barr pushed the pass to Helen Doolittle who struck the ball just wide of the cage.
Less than four minutes later, Liberty's Jordan Richardson received the ball in the top of the circle. The senior made a couple of moves before sending a shot to the wide left of the goal.
The Golden Bears broke the scoreless contest with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. Nicole Hendrikkson knocked a shot toward the left post of the cage. Andrea Earle redirected the ball past the diving Jefferis, putting Cal in the lead, 1-0.
The Lady Flames worked their way into the circle for one last attempt at tying the game with just over a minute remaining in the match. Natalie Barr ripped a shot toward the cage, but the ball clanked off the right side of the goal and trickled out of bounds.
Cal controlled the ball for the final minute of the contest and held on for the 1-0 victory. The Golden Bears finished the game with seven shots and four penalty corners. Liberty recorded three shots and a pair of penalty corners.
In goal, Jefferis notched one save for the Lady Flames, while the Golden Bears' Courtney Hendrickson was not forced to make a save during the game.
The Lady Flames continue their six-game road trip next weekend with games at No. 18 Wake Forest on Friday and VCU on Sunday. The Wake Forest matchup is slated for 4:30 p.m., while the VCU contest is set for 2 p.m.