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Field Hockey to Wrap Up Inaugural Season
Liberty field hockey's inaugural season will come to a close this weekend, as the team will compete against Houghton and Lindenwood in a pair of neutral-site match ups. The games will be contested at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.
While the Lady Flames (5-10) are currently in their second four-game slide of the season, they aim to finish the year strongly this weekend. Neutral-site games have been positive for the team, as Liberty holds a 3-0 record in such games. Early in the year, the Lady Flames defeated Marywood (Sept. 10), Christopher Newport (Sept. 11) and Lindenwood (Sept. 16) in successive neutral-site games. Liberty outscored its opponents 8-1 in that stretch, led by freshman Helen Doolittle and Abby Batdorf with three and two goals, respectively.
The Lady Flames' latest contest was a 3-0 defeat to Temple (Oct. 28), who recently finished the regular season and earned the third seed for its Atlantic 10 tournament. While Liberty held the Owls scoreless for over 52 minutes of play, Temple found the cage three times late in the second half to secure the home victory.
Liberty's ensuing game with Fairfield was cancelled, due to snow covering much of the Northeast.
Houghton, a NAIA program, currently sports a 9-5 record, but will compete against Christopher Newport on Friday before facing the Lady Flames, Saturday. Prior to losing their last two contests by one goal apiece, the Highlanders had rolled off seven consecutive victories.
Ashley Engle is the team's leading scorer, totaling 25 points off eight goals and nine helpers. Jillian Watts has three goals and six assists to rank second in points with 12, while Maesa Phongsamouth (five goals) and Rachel Stefanski (four goals, two assists) each have 10 points.
Junior Hillery Duman has served as the team's goalkeeper this year, accumulating 36 saves, while allowing 17 goals.
As previously referenced, the game with Lindenwood will be the second meeting between the programs this season. The Lady Flames were victorious in the first contest in September, winning 3-0 in a game played in Moon Township, Pa. Doolittle, Batdorf and Lindsey Hanks each contributed a goal, while goalkeeper Ann Jefferis contributed four saves en route to the shutout.
Since the initial game, Lindenwood has gone 1-9, for an overall record of 1-12 on the year. The team's sole victory came over Hendrix College, and was settled in penalty strokes after 100 minutes of scoreless action.
Kayleigh Harrower is the team's leading scorer, netting four goals for eight points. Four Lions have posted two goals apiece.
Samantha Brown has racked up nearly 800 minutes in goal. The senior has tallied 93 saves for a save percentage of .727, while allowing 35 goals for a 3.15 goals-against average.
Lindenwood will face off with Limestone College, Saturday, before taking on the Lady Flames, Sunday morning.
Both Liberty contests are planned to have live stats. Fans wishing to follow the Lady Flames' action can click the provided link on the schedule portion of LibertyFlames.com.