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Liberty Blanks Saint Louis, 5-0
Liberty has won four out of its last five contests to improve to 6-4 overall. The six wins match the Lady Flames' first-season total from a year ago. With the loss, Saint Louis falls to 1-10.
Liberty jumped on the scoreboard midway through the opening frame. The Lady Flames worked the ball up the field and Gipe converted on an unassisted goal to put Liberty on top 1-0.
The Lady Flames added to their lead in the 27th minute. Mercedes Cox tallied Liberty's second goal of the match off of an assist from Doherty. It was the first goal of the season for Cox and Doherty's second assist on the year.
Three minutes later Liberty pushed the lead to 3-0. Off of a penalty corner, Hannah Jones inserted a pass into the circle. Initial shots by Natalie Barr and Doherty were turned away before Doherty collected the rebound off of her own shot and pounded it into the cage for her first career goal.
The Lady Flames' defense led by Jones, Megan Johnson, Helen Doolittle shut down the Billikens throughout the opening frame, allowing just one shot through the first 35 minutes.
Doherty tacked on her second goal with 3:51 remaining in the opening stanza. Abbey Basom fed a pass to Doherty, who knocked it in, to put Liberty ahead 4-0 going into the half.
Liberty outshot the Billikens, 11-1, in the first half and earned two penalty corners to Saint Louis' zero.
The Lady Flames had several scoring opportunities turned away early on in the second half. Barr, Erin Dombach, Jones, Doolittle, Basom and Elly Chipman were unsuccessful during a stretch of eight unanswered shots by the visitors.
Liberty's defense continued its strong play in the second half and did not allow a shot attempt until the 67th minute. Lady Flames' goalie Mallory Cuccio, making her first career start, turned away a Lexie Lindblad shot to keep Liberty's four goal lead intact.
Gipe capped off her third two-goal game of the season, scoring off of an assist from Barr with only five seconds remaining on the clock to give Liberty the 5-0 and win.
For the game, Liberty recorded 21 shots and eight penalty corners, while the Billikens tallied two shots and two penalty corners.
Cuccio tallied one save for her first career shutout.
Liberty's five goals set a new single-game program record, topping the old mark of four goals.
Gipe has now scored two goals in back-to-back games and has notched at least one goal in four straight contests. Her two goals on Saturday pushed her season total to nine.
The Lady Flames play again Sunday at noon (EST) against the Missouri State Bears in a neutral-site contest at Saint Louis.