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Lady Flames Shut Out Monmouth on the Road, 1-0

September 20, 2013  West Long Branch, N.J.  RSS
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Sarah Gipe recorded four shots in her 2013 debut for the Lady Flames.

Sarah Gipe recorded four shots in her 2013 debut for the Lady Flames.

A second-half goal by Natalie Barr and a strong defensive effort propelled the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey squad to a 1-0 victory over the Monmouth Hawks, Friday afternoon at So Sweet A Cat Field.

With back-to-back wins, Liberty improves its record to 4-2 on the season. The loss drops Monmouth to 1-5 overall.

The Lady Flames recorded the first scoring opportunity of the contest in the 33rd minute. Off a penalty corner attempt, Natalie Barr had her shot blocked by the Hawks' defense.

Two minutes later, Liberty forced another penalty corner attempt. Serena Barr ripped a shot on goal, but Monmouth goalkeeper Amanda Westerweller turned away the ball to keep the game scoreless.

The Lady Flames recorded four more shots in the first half, but a pair of saves by Westerweller kept Liberty off of the scoreboard.

Monmouth's best scoring opportunity came with under four minutes remaining in the opening period. Alyssa Ercolino inserted the Hawks' second penalty corner of the contest into the circle. Alex Carroll pushed a shot toward the cage, only to see Liberty goalkeeper Ann Jefferis make a diving stop to keep the game scoreless heading into intermission.

Just like it did to open the contest, Liberty forced a pair of penalty corners in the first five minutes of the second half. On the second attempt, Natalie Barr collected the rebound off of a shot attempt by Bethany Barr and banged it into the back of the cage at 31:57 for what would be the game's lone score. The sophomore's fourth score of the season put the visitors on top 1-0 with just over three minutes elapsed in the final stanza.

Liberty continued to apply offensive pressure, firing shot after shot against the Hawks' defense, building a sizeable shot advantage during the second half. The Lady Flames outshot Monmouth 15-5 during the final 35 minutes.

Head Coach Jodi Murphy's team nearly extended its lead in the contest's 50th minute. Natalie Barr lined a shot toward the cage off of Liberty's second penalty corner of the final half. Defender Ali Askinas knocked away the hard shot, recording a defensive save for the Hawks.

The game came down to the final play, as Monmouth forced a penalty as time expired. With zero time remaining on the game clock, the Hawks inserted the ball into circle. Melanie Dawson and Trish O'Dwyer both sent shot attempts towards the cage, but each one was blocked by a Liberty defender. Erin Dombach gathered the loose ball after O'Dwyer's shot and cleared it out of the circle, sealing the victory for Liberty.

For the contest, the Lady Flames outshot the Hawks, 21-8, and forced 11 penalty corners to the home team's eight.

In the cage, Liberty's Jefferis only needed to make two saves, en route to her second shutout of the season. Westerweller concluded the contest with a dozen saves for the Hawks in the defeat.

The Lady Flames look to extend their winning streak to three games on Sunday. Liberty will visit Philadelphia, Pa. for a contest against the La Salle Explorers. Game time at DeVincent Field is set to begin at Noon.

For a more in-depth look at the Lady Flames' field hockey program, including postgame interviews and video packages, follow the team on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.