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Lady Flames Topple Villanova, 2-1
The Liberty Lady Flames received goals from Natalie Barr and Helen Doolittle and continued their winning ways on Saturday, topping the Villanova Wildcats, 2-1. The victory pushed Liberty's program-best winning streak to five games.
Liberty has now won six out of its last seven contests to improve to 8-4 overall. Villanova dropped its second contest in a row to fall to 6-7 on the season.
The Lady Flames controlled the first half of play on both sides of the ball. Liberty recorded 10 shots and nine penalty corners, while the Wildcats were held without a shot by the Lady Flames' defense during the first 30 minutes of play.
The Liberty offense broke through in the 31st minute. Hannah Jones inserted a pass off of a penalty corner to Doolittle. Doolittle gathered the ball and rolled a pass to Barr, who ripped the ball into the back of the cage to give the Lady Flames the 1-0 advantage.
The Lady Flames continued their stifling defensive play and closed out the first half without allowing a Villanova shot or penalty corner. Liberty tallied 11 shots and 10 penalty corners in the opening frame.
The Wildcats recorded their first shot 2:45 into the second half. Kayla Kenney fired a shot on goal, but Mallory Cuccio was there for the save for Liberty. Villanova came back with two more shots on goal, only to be denied by Cuccio on both attempts.
Liberty extended its lead to 2-0 with 17:10 remaining in the contest. Jones once again laced a pass into the circle on a penalty corner for the Lady Flames. After several passes, Doolittle collected the ball and fired home her third goal of the season.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard in the 65th minute. A Liberty penalty set up Villanova with a penalty stroke opportunity. Leah High took the stroke for the Wildcats and snuck it passed a diving Cuccio to cut Liberty's in half, 2-1.
Villanova's final bid to tie the game came with less than five minutes remaining, but High's shot attempt was once again turned away by Cuccio and Liberty held on for the 2-1 victory.
For the game, Liberty recorded 14 shots and 12 penalty corners, while the Wildcats tallied seven shots and seven penalty corners.
The Lady Flames return to action tomorrow at the Liberty Field Hockey Field for a 2 p.m. matchup against VCU.