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Flames Report: Fall Sports Homecoming Court
The following article first appeared in the Oct. 15 issue of Flames Illustrated, the official game program for the Liberty-Coastal Carolina Homecoming football game. The text has been updated to reflect accomplishments which have taken place since the original article deadline, but the honorees have not changed.
On the heels of Homecoming weekend on Liberty Mountain, this week's Flames Report utilized a timeless Homecoming tradition to honor some of the top performers from Liberty's fall sports teams. Below you will find the Flames Report's selections for Liberty's fall sports "Homecoming Court," based upon student-athletes' contributions so far this season.
Note 1: Football student-athletes were not eligible for selection to the Homecoming Court, because this article focuses on Liberty's Olympic sport teams. So, all members of the Homecoming Court are part of the men's cross country, men's soccer, women's cross country, women's soccer, volleyball and field hockey teams.
Note 2: Student-athletes are listed according to their athletic eligibility as opposed to their academic class standing. All student-athletes were eligible for selection as King and Queen.
Without further ado, we present this year's Flames Report Fall Sports Homecoming Court.
Freshman Attendants: Helen Doolittle (Field Hockey) and Josh Pacella (Men's Soccer) – Doolittle etched her name in the Liberty field hockey record book by scoring the program's first-ever goal in its inaugural match against Radford on Sept. 3. She leads the Lady Flames with six goals. Pacella has played a key role in the men's soccer team's early-season success, starting the first 10 games in goal. He pitched back-to-back shutouts against No. 10 Virginia and Howard in September.
Sophomore Attendants: Lillie Happel (Volleyball) and Josh MacDonald (Men's Cross Country) – The team leader in both kills and service aces, Happel has earned numerous awards this season. Among them are two Big South Player of the Week awards and an ECAC Player of the Week nod. MacDonald posted his first collegiate cross country victory at the season-opening Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. He has been one of the Flames' top three finishers at each meet this season, helping Liberty climb to a No. 10 regional ranking on Oct. 3.
Junior Attendants: Ann Jefferis (Field Hockey) and Zac Edwards (Men's Cross Country) – Jefferis has started every match in net for the Lady Flames during their inaugural season, posting three shutouts and earning national rankings in several statistical categories. Like Jefferis a transfer, Edwards has assumed the mantle of Liberty's top male distance runner after the graduation of Sam Chelanga. Edwards earned individual victories at the Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview and Charlotte Invitational.
Senior Attendants: Silvia Betancourt (Women's Soccer) and Chris Phillips (Men's Soccer) – Betancourt has been the Lady Flames' most consistent source of offense this fall, leading the team in both goals (4) and points (10). The Costa Rica native also boasts a pair of game-winning goals. Phillips, a team captain, has made notable contributions both offensively and defensively. He has started every contest on the Flames' back line and recorded the game-winning goal in the Flames' 2-0 win at No. 10 Virginia on Sept. 13.
Homecoming King and Queen: Jennifer Klugh (Women's Cross Country) and Phillip Aseweh (Men's Soccer) – The reigning Big South women's cross country individual champion, Klugh appears well-poised to defend her conference title in two weeks. Each of her first two races this season resulted in a Big South Runner of the Week honor, and she broke a 24-year-old school record for the 5K at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 30. Entering the week, Aseweh paces the Flames in goals (5), assists (6) and points (16). On Sept. 21, he was honored nationally, as both the Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week and part of the Soccer America Men's Team of the Week.
Paul Carmany is an assistant athletics communications director for Liberty Athletics.