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Liberty Downs Davidson 6-2 in NorPac Opener
Ashlee Krulock matched Liberty's single-game record with four goals as the Lady Flames field hockey team cruised to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Davidson Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Liberty Field Hockey Field. Natalie Barr added two goals for Liberty, helping the Lady Flames collect their fourth consecutive win against the Wildcats.
The win improves Liberty's overall record to 6-4 (1-0 NorPac). The Lady Flames remain unbeaten at home (5-0) against conference opponents, dating back to last season. Davidson falls to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in NorPac contests.
Liberty wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. After Natalie Barr had her shot turned away by Wildcats' goalkeeper Emily Leytham, Krulock collected the rebound and knocked it into the cage to put the home team on top, 1-0, with just under four minutes elapsed in the first half.
The Lady Flames quickly extended their lead to 2-0 in the contest's fifth minute. Bethany Barr delivered a long pass up the right side of the field and into the circle to Jordan Richardson. Richardson tipped a pass to the left side of the circle and Natalie Barr snuck it by Leytham into the left corner of the goal.
With the Liberty offense clicking on all cylinders, the Lady Flames' defense was busy shutting down the Wildcats' attack. Liberty surrendered just one shot and one penalty corner in the opening 35 minutes of the game.
Krulock tallied her second goal of the first half off of an assist from Bethany Barr with just over 12 minutes remaining. The contest remained 3-0 heading into the halftime break.
Krulock's scoring binge continued in the opening minutes of the second stanza. The sophomore corralled the rebound off of a Bethany Barr shot and knocked it into the back of the cage for a 4-0 Liberty advantage.
Davidson tallied the game's next two scores. Sara French notched the Wildcats first score, before Katherine English knocked in a goal off of penalty corner attempt for the visitors, cutting the Lady Flames lead to two at 4-2 during the 62nd minute.
Liberty immediately regained momentum on the ensuing possession. Natalie Barr dribbled up the right side of the field and into the Davidson circle. The Lurgan, Northern Ireland native drilled her sixth goal of the season past new goalkeeper Carolyn Macek to put the Lady Flames back in front by three, 5-2, with 7:57 remaining in regulation.
Krulock capped Liberty's 6-2 victory in the game's 64th minute of action. Erin Bartley fed a pass from the right side in front of the cage. Krulock gathered the ball and knocked it off Macek's pads and into the cage for her fourth goal of the day and ninth of the season.
For the contest, the Lady Flames tallied 24 shots to just five for the Wildcats. Liberty also held the advantage in penalty corners, 6-2.
Ann Jefferis notched one save in the cage for the Lady Flames en route to her sixth win of the season. Leytham recorded two saves for Davidson during her half of play, while Macek recorded seven saves in the game's final 35 minutes.
Liberty returns to action with a midweek trip to Longwood on Wednesday for its first conference road test of the season. The Lady Flames and Lancers will get underway at 4:30 p.m. at the Athletics Complex.
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