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First Home Victory Comes on Senior Day for Lady Flames
After earning a 1-0 lead in the first half, the Liberty field hockey team added three second-half goals en route to a 4-1 win over Roanoke, Thursday afternoon, notching the program's first home victory. The game was the team's final home game of the 2011 season, and seniors Devon Butterworth, Amanda Marroquin and Hannah Sailsbury were honored prior to the game.
Despite it being senior day, the Lady Flames' scoring was headed by a trio of freshmen. Morgan DeMann and Helen Doolittle each posted a goal, while Alex Hibbs contributed the other two goals on the day.
The offensive outburst for the Lady Flames set a program record for goals in a game (4), while the three-goal victory is their third win this season by the same margin. The three second-half goals also tied a program-best mark, as the team previously posted three second-half goals in its win over Lindenwood earlier this season.
The victory ups Liberty's record to 4-6, while Roanoke falls to 3-7 in its 2011 campaign.
Liberty controlled the offensive action throughout most of the contest, including the opening minutes of the first half. After posting five shots in the first 14 minutes of play, Liberty converted its first goal of the afternoon at the 19:13 mark, which resulted from a penalty corner.
After entering the ball, DeMann camped out on the end line as her teammates served the ball around the circle and back to her. Mercedes Cox made the final pass on the play to record her first assist of the year, while DeMann fired the ball past Roanoke goalkeeper Cristina Scichilone from the left post for the first goal of her collegiate career.
The Lady Flames continued to maintain possession of the ball in the first half, but Roanoke was able to post a pair of shots which came in transition. However, each shot sailed wide and left the score at 1-0 at the half.
Liberty wasted no time in the final 35 minutes of play, as it upped its advantage to 2-0 just over eight minutes into the second half. After Doolittle entered the ball to the circle, Lindsay Hanks was able to redirect the ball over to Hibbs who found the back of the cage from the left post as well. The combination again served as a pair of firsts, with Hanks tallying her first career assist and Hibbs recording her career first goal.
A little over two minutes later, Liberty earned a penalty stroke. Doolittle was elected to take the shot and converted the attempt for her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Roanoke continued its own efforts, which paid off for the Maroons in the 55th minute of play. Kelly Finn was able to find the cage through a crowd of players, lifting the ball into the upper right side of the goal and passing Liberty goalkeeper Brooke Morley, who replaced Ann Jefferis in the second half. Finn was assisted by Alexa Nuhn on the play.
The final goal of the afternoon came with 8:08 left on the clock, with Hibbs notching the second goal of the game and of her career. Taylor Swalm provided the assist on the play, as she dribbled the ball into the circle and fired it across from the right portion. Hibbs found herself on the left post once again, and produced the same result as earlier in the game.
Liberty's offensive control of the game showed in the final numbers, as the hosts held a 20-4 shot advantage and earned all nine penalty corners in the contest. Scichilone posted each of the six saves in the contest for the Maroons, while Liberty did not record a save on the afternoon.
The Lady Flames will just have two days to prepare for their next contest. On Saturday, Liberty will make the trip over the mountains to face Washington & Lee in Lexington, Va. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.