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Field Hockey Edged by Mountaineers in Second Half
Despite Liberty notching a goal in the fourth minute of play and taking a 1-1 tie into halftime, Appalachian State posted a pair of goals in the final 35 minutes to earn the 3-2 win over the Lady Flames, Sunday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The game served as senior day for the host Mountaineers.
With the defeat to its future NorPac foe, Liberty falls to 5-9 this season with four games remaining. Appalachian State moves to 2-14 on the year with the victory.
The Lady Flames struck early, posting their quickest goal of the season at the 3:03 mark in the contest. Mercedes Cox tallied her third score of the year, finding the back of the cage after an initial shot attempt was blocked. The play developed after a penalty corner.
However, the homestanding Mountaineers took control of the offense for the remainder of the first half. Appalachian State allowed no more Liberty scoring attempts, even though the visitors had two penalty corners within a 40-second span.
After coming up empty on five shots, which included a pair of saves from Liberty goalkeeper Ann Jefferis, Appalachian State leveled the contest 15:24 into the game. Resulting from a penalty corner, Meghan High posted her first goal of the year, as she deflected teammate Brooklyn Shearer's initial attempt.
Liberty earned three more penalty corner opportunities to close the first half, but was unable to post a shot, leading to a 1-1 tie at intermission.
Appalachian State struck again early in the second half to claim its first lead of the afternoon. Jefferis saved another scoring attempt by High, but Casey Lammando picked up the loose ball close to the cage, firing in the go-ahead goal in the 48th minute.
The Lady Flames sought to earn back momentum, as Lindsey Hanks provided the equalizer just two minutes later. Once again the Lady Flames' score came after a penalty corner and an initially missed opportunity. Helen Doolittle was once again denied on the first shot, with Mountaineer goalkeeper Bridgette Street making her first save of the afternoon. Hanks found herself in the right place, possessing the rebound and tying the match, 2-2, with her third goal of the season.
Jefferis kept the match all square in the 53rd minute, saving a shot from Emily Knapp.
With just under 15 minutes remaining in the game, senior Kelsey Dorset provided the go-ahead score. Positioning herself in front of the cage, Dorset scored the Mountaineers' second redirected goal of the game by deflecting a Brooke Angellella shot past Jefferis.
Appalachian State struck three more shots on goal during the remainder of the game, but came up empty.
Liberty head coach Jodi Murphy called a timeout with six minutes left to go, leading to the Lady Flames' strong possessions in the final minutes of the contest. Street made her second save of the afternoon at the 66-minute mark, keeping her squad with the slim one-goal margin.
The Lady Flames made one last push in the final minute of play, but another shot from Doolittle sailed wide, preserving the Mountaineers' 3-2 victory.
The Mountaineers controlled both offensive statistics, outshooting Liberty by a 16-6 margin, while holding a smaller 10-8 advantage in penalty corner opportunities. Jefferis tallied six saves on the afternoon to Street's two.
Liberty returns to the turf Friday, as part of a two-game weekend road trip. The Lady Flames face the Atlantic 10's Temple in a Play for the Cure game at 3 p.m., Friday. The team will continue north for its weekend cap, meeting America East program Fairfield at 11 a.m., Sunday.