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Balanced Effort Pushes Liberty Past Missouri State, 4-1
Four different players contributed goals as the Liberty Lady Flames won a program-best, fourth game in a row on Sunday, topping the Missouri State Bears, 4-1.
With the win, Liberty improves to 7-4 overall. The seven victories breaks last season's win total of six victories. The Bears drop to 4-7 following the three-goal loss.
Helen Doolittle notched the first goal of the game for the Lady Flames in the fifth minute. A penalty on the Bears set Liberty up with a penalty stroke opportunity, which Doolittle converted to put the Lady Flames on top 1-0.
Missouri State goalie Andrea Bain stopped Liberty's next five shot attempts. The Lady Flames' Abbey Basom broke that streak with 18:19 remaining in the first half, scoring off of an assist from Sarah Gipe to push Liberty's lead to 2-0.
At the end of the first half, the Lady Flames held the 3-0 advantage. Liberty's defense allowed just two shots and one penalty corner in the opening frame, while the Lady Flames offense tied their season-best mark with 15 first half shots. Liberty also earned six penalty corners in the first stanza.
Missouri State was not able to convert on several scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half. The Bears earned six penalty corners and tallied six shots, but goalie Mallory Cuccio and the rest of the Lady Flames' defense stood strong to help preserve the 3-0 lead.
Liberty responded to the Bears' attack with offensive pressure of its own, earning four penalty corners in a six-minute span, which began in the 49th minute. Off of the game's fourth penalty corner attempt, Hannah Jones scored her first career goal to give Liberty the 4-0 edge. Johnson assisted on the play.
The Bears', Liz Young, scored the lone goal of the contest for Missouri State with 4:24 left to go in the game.
Cuccio tallied the last of her eight saves on the day with no time remaining on the clock, as Liberty recorded the 4-1 victory.
The Lady Flames outshot Missouri State, 22-13, and earned 13 penalty corners to the Bears' nine. Bain stopped 12 shots for Missouri State.
Liberty returns home for the first game of a six-game homestand on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Villanova Wildcats. The game will be a part of Liberty's Homecoming Weekend festivities.