Center: Head Coach Jodi Murphy. Clockwise from top left: Natalie Barr, Serena Barr, Hannah Jones and Ann Jefferis.
After leading the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey squad to its first NorPac Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Jodi Murphy was tabbed the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division Coach of the Year. Additionally, sisters Natalie and Serena Barr garnered first team all-state honors, while Hannah Jones and Ann Jefferis were placed on the second team.
Murphy, the NorPac Co-Coach of the Year, led a young Liberty team to a program record 17 win season. The Lady Flames won their second consecutive NorPac East Division title after posting a perfect 8-0 division mark. In two years in the conference, Murphy's team has posted a combined 15-1 tally against division opponents. Liberty won a program-best 12 straight contests, the last of which came against No. 10 Stanford in the NorPac Championship title game. The Lady Flames' 2-1 upset of the Cardinal punched their first-ever ticket to the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship.
Natalie Barr adds her second consecutive first team all-state honor to her list of postseason plaudits this season. The sophomore was tabbed to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-South Region first team, becoming the first Lady Flame in program history to earn that honor. Barr was also named the NorPac East Division Offensive Player of the Year and was placed on the all-conference and NorPac all-tournament squads. The forward paced the Lady Flames and the conference with 49 points and 19 goals this season. The sophomore also added 11 assists, 106 shots, five game-winning goals and three defensive saves. Barr finished the season ranked eighth in the nation in points per game (2.23) and 13th in goals per game (0.86).
Joining her sister on the first team, Serena Barr becomes just the second Lady Flame ever to earn first team all-state recognition. The NorPac's Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year and all-conference honoree, Barr posted 27 points on nine goals and nine assists this season. The freshman finished third in the league in points and assists and fourth in goals. Barr helped lead a defensive unit which ranked third in the country in goals-against average (0.95) and 10th in shutouts per game (0.36).
Jones earns the first all-state honor of her young career. The sophomore was also tabbed to the NorPac all-conference squad this season. Jones helped guide Liberty to a single-season program record eight shutouts and a goals-against average which ranked third nationally. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native also was a big contributor on the Lady Flames' penalty corner attacking unit. Serving as one of the team's primary inserters, Jones notched eight goals this season on just ten shots. Jones also tallied five assists and ranked eighth in the league in total points (21).
Jefferis concludes her Liberty career with her first all-state second-team honor. Jefferis also earned the second Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-South Region second-team honor of her career on Nov. 19. The Harleysville, Pa., native notched a single-season program record six shutouts, a number which ranked her second in the league. Jefferis surrendered just 19 goals this season and ranked third in the nation in goals-against average (0.95). Jefferis finished the year with 60 saves and a .759 save percentage, which was good for 21st in the country. The redshirt senior was at her best in the NorPac Championship, earning tournament MVP honors after surrendering just two goals in three games. The goalkeeper tallied six saves in the final game against Stanford, helping lead Liberty to the title.
Virginia's Elly Buckley and Lucy Hyams earned all-state Player and Rookie of the Year honors, respectively. Richmond led the state with five players earning inclusion on either the first or second team. Liberty had the second most all-state honorees with four, followed by Virginia and Old Dominion with three each.
Player of the Year Elly Buckley – Virginia
Coach of the Year Jodi Murphy – Liberty
Rookie of the Year Lucy Hyams – Virginia
VaSID All-State First Team Natalie Barr – Liberty Serena Barr – Liberty Rebecca Barry – Richmond Elly Buckley – Virginia Amy Cooke – Richmond Stacey de Grandhomme – Longwood Lucy Hyams – Virginia Christy Longacre – Old Dominion Kelsey Smither – Old Dominion Rosario Villagra – Old Dominion Anna Zarkoski – Richmond
VaSID All-State Second Team Chelsea Davies – Richmond Stephanie DeMasi – VCU Amy Goldstein – James Madison Taylor Hodge – William & Mary Ann Jefferis – Liberty Hannah Jones – Liberty Samantha Ostoich – Richmond Pippin Saunders – William & Mary Emilie Soares – VCU Carissa Vittese – Virginia Alayana Versage – Radford Taylor West – James Madison
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