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Liberty Returns Home to Face Saint Louis and No. 4 Virginia
The Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team returns to the friendly confines of Liberty Field Hockey Field for the first time since Aug. 30 with a pair of non-conference matchups this weekend. On Friday, Liberty welcomes the Saint Louis Bilikens to the Hill City for a 3:30 p.m. contest, before hosting No. 4 Virginia on Sunday at 2 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats and live video will both be available for Friday and Sunday's matchups on LibertyFlames.com by clicking on the live stats or live video links on the field hockey schedule/results page. Jacob Johnston and Robert Morris will handle the call on the video stream, which is free courtesy of the Big South Network. Fans can also follow the games through periodic twitter updates from @libertyflames and @libertyFH.
Series History versus Saint Louis and Virginia
Liberty will be looking to improve to 2-0 all-time against the Bilikens, after posting a 5-0 shutout victory in St. Louis last season on Sept. 29. The 5-0 score represents the Lady Flames largest margin of victory in a shutout in program history. Sunday's matchup against the Cavaliers will be the first meeting between the two Commonwealth opponents.
Liberty at a Glance
The Lady Flames currently hold a 4-3 overall record, after splitting a pair of road games this past weekend. Liberty's three losses have come by a combined three goals. The Lady Flames notched their second shutout of the season against Monmouth, 1-0, before falling to La Salle, 2-1, on a pair of second-half scores by the Explorers.
Sophomores Natalie Barr and Ashlee Krulock top Liberty in goals with four apiece this season. Barr is also the team leader in assists with four, while Hannah Jones ranks second on the squad with three helpers. Overall, seven Lady Flames have found the back of the cage during the first seven games of the year.
Goalkeeper Ann Jefferis has surrendered just nine goals through seven games for a 1.65 goals-against average. The redshirt senior has 31 saves and a .775 save percentage.
As a team, Liberty is averaging 2.14 goals per contest while allowing just 1.29 scores per game. The Lady Flames' 0.86 scoring margin is good for second in the NorPac. Liberty is averaging 13.9 shots and six penalty corners per game.
Lady Flames Among NorPac and NCAA Leaders
NorPac (as of 9/22/13)
Shots: Natalie Barr (4th/29)
Points: Natalie Barr (2nd/12), Hannah Jones (T-6th/9), Ashlee Krulock (T-8th/8)
Goals: Natalie Barr (T3rd/4), Ashlee Krulock (T3rd/4), Hannah Jones (T-8th/3)
Assists: Natalie Barr (T-1st/4), Hannah Jones (T-6th/3), Bethany Barr (T-8th/2)
Saves: Ann Jefferis (6th/31)
Goals Against Average: Ann Jefferis (2nd/1.29)
Save Percentage: Ann Jefferis (2nd/.775)
Shutouts: Ann Jefferis (2nd/2)
NCAA (as of 9/22/13)
Goals Against Average: Ann Jefferis (15th/1.29)
Save Percentage: Ann Jefferis (14th/.775)
Home Sweet Home
Liberty will be playing its first home game at Liberty Field Hockey Field since its season-opening win against Saint Joseph's on August 30. The Lady Flames currently hold a five-match winning streak at home and have wins in eight out their last nine contests on Liberty Mountain, dating back to last season.
Saint Louis at a Glance
Saint Louis, coming off its first win of the season this past Sunday, holds a 1-7 overall record, including an 0-6 mark in away or neutral site contests. The Bilikens downed Ball State, 4-2, at home to snap a seven-game winless streak to open the season.
Faith Mackin is the team leader in points with six (2 goals, 2 assists), while Megan Rogers and Lisa Smith match Mackin for the team high in goals with two apiece. Shannon Knobloch (1 goal, 2 assists), Meredith Jeffers (1 goal, 1 assist) and Jenell Murphy (1 goal, 1 assist) round out the list of scorers for the Bilikens.
In goal, Megan Depew-Brady has played the bulk of the minutes and has surrendered 33 goals for a 4.93 goals-against average. The junior has notched 65 saves and a .663 save percentage.
Virginia at a Glance
The fourth-ranked Cavaliers are 9-1 overall, following a 6-1 win on Wednesday against James Madison. Virginia has three wins against top-25 programs (Louisville, Penn State and Northwestern). In road and neutral site matches, the Cavaliers hold an unblemished 4-0 mark.
Elly Buckley, a 2012 second-team All-American selection, leads the team in scoring with 27 points (11 goals, 5 assists) and ranks 13th nationally in points per game. Caleigh Foust and Riley Tata are tied for second on the squad with eight goals each.
Jenny Johnstone has played every minute in the cage for Virginia, surrendering just 13 goals, while making 47 saves. The junior entered the week ranked in the top 15 nationally in save percentage (10th) and goals-against average (13th).
Liberty continues its three-game homestand on Oct. 5 against Davidson. The Lady Flames NorPac opener against the Wildcats is scheduled to begin at noon at Liberty Field Hockey Field.