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Field Hockey to Open 2012 Season in Pennsylvania

August 22, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Mercedes Cox and Lindsey Hanks

The Lady Flames' field hockey team will take the field this weekend against two Keystone state opponents, Saint Joseph's and Lehigh, to begin their 2012 season. Liberty will open on Friday at 3 p.m. in Philadelphia against Saint Joseph's, before making the short trip up to Bethlehem to take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Sunday at 1 p.m.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats for Friday's and Sunday's contests will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats links on the field hockey schedule/results page. Live stats will be provided by the Saint Joseph's athletics communications department for Friday's game and by Lehigh's media relations department for Sunday's game. There will also be a live video feed for the Lehigh game for a small fee.

A Look at the Lady Flames
Liberty, coached by Jodi Murphy, completed their inaugural season of 2011 with a 6-11 record, competing as an independent. The Lady Flames return a strong contingent of players from last season's squad and have also added a talented freshman class of 13 student-athletes.

The Lady Flames return their top five performers in each major offensive category from a year ago. Headlining the group are sophomores Helen Doolittle, Abby Batdorf, Lindsey Hanks, Mercedes Cox, and Alex Hibbs. Doolittle, who was named to the 2011 VaSID All-State second team, led the team last season in points (14), goals (7) and shots (49). Junior Jordan Richardson paced the team with four assists also returns on the midfield line. A host of newcomers will also have an opportunity to step in and have an immediate impact this weekend.

On the defensive side of the field, returnees junior Emily Dinsmore and sophomores Morgan DeMann and Megan Johnson will anchor the backline for the Lady Flames. With last season's starter in goal, Ann Jefferis, redshirting, sophomore Brooke Morley will get the nod in the cage for Liberty.

A Look at Saint Joseph's
The Hawks posted a 6-11 overall record last season and finished sixth in the Atlantic 10 with a 1-5 mark. They were picked to finish sixth again in the 2012 conference's preseason poll. Saint Joseph's is coached by Michelle Finegan who enters her 16th season at the helm of the program.

Saint Joseph's returns six starters from last season's team. Sophomore Jordan Morgan finished fourth on the team with six goals and 14 points and was named to the conference's All-Rookie team. Fellow sophomore Nicole Gerdes tallied three goals and eight assists, completing the year fifth on the squad.

The Hawks posted a 3-3 home record against non-conference opponents last season and an overall mark of 5-6 outside of the A-10. They finished the year with a 4-5 home record overall. The team finished second in the A-10 by averaging 2.07 goals per game.

A Look at Lehigh
The Mountain Hawks, who are under the direction of second year coach Stacey Blue, finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 6-13 and 3-2 in the Patriot League. Lehigh was tabbed to finish fourth in the conference's 2012 preseason poll.

Four All-Patriot League performers return for the Mountain Hawks - senior Kim Eng, who led the team with 24 points a year ago, juniors Marie Mignogna and Sierra Segear and sophomore Steph Fratoni. Segear, who is the reigning Patriot League Goalie of the Year, recorded 202 saves last season, while recording a .774 save percentage.

Lehigh posted a winning record at home a year ago with a mark of 5-4. Against non-conference opponents they finished 2-3 at home and had an overall non-conference record of 3-10.

Looking Ahead
The Lady Flames will return to Lynchburg for their home opener on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. against Big East opponent Georgetown.