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Lady Flames to Face No. 17 Delaware in NCAA Tournament Play-In Round
Making its first appearance in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team will travel to Newark, Del., to face No. 17 Delaware on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the play-in round. The winner of Wednesday's contest will face No. 3 national seed North Carolina on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Liberty earned its way into the tournament by claiming the NorPac Championship title yesterday, defeating No. 10 Stanford, 2-1. The Lady Flames enter the NCAA Tournament with a 17-4 overall record and the longest current winning streak in the nation at 12 games.
Liberty boasts one of the top offenses in the country, ranking in the top-five nationally in goals per game (3.90) and points per game (11.05). Two-time NorPac East Division Offensive Player of the Year Natalie Barr leads the Lady Flames with 49 (19 goals, 11 assists) points, while Serena Barr (9 goals, 9 assists), Ashlee Krulock (10 goals, 3 assists), Bethany Barr (5 goals, 12 assists) and Hannah Jones (8 goals, 5 assists) each have tallied over 20 points this season.
Defensively, Liberty is led by goalkeeper Ann Jefferis, who ranks in the top five in the nation in goals-against average (0.95) and also boasts a .763 save percentage. As a team, the Lady Flames are surrendering just 0.95 goals per game and 7.1 shots per game.
The Blue Hens punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 5-1 victory over Northeastern on Sunday in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship. With Sunday's win, Delaware (16-4) tied the program's single-season win record with 16 victories, a mark that had not been reached since the 1988 season. Delaware makes a return to the tournament for the first time since 2009.
Michaela Patzner and Esmee Peet lead the Blue Hens with 40 and 30 points, respectively. Delaware is averaging 3.40 goals per game, while surrendering 1.40 goals per contest. Goalkeeper Sarah Scher has played every minute in cage this season, holding a 1.40 goals-against average and a .765 save percentage.