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Lady Flames Upset No. 12 Wake Forest, 2-1

September 19, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Ashlee Krulock netted the game-winning goal for the Lady Flames in Friday's 2-1 victory over No. 12 Wake Forest.

Ashlee Krulock netted the game-winning goal for the Lady Flames in Friday's 2-1 victory over No. 12 Wake Forest.

For just the second time in school history and first since the 2013 NorPac Championship game, the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team pulled off an upset against a Top 20 opponent, with a 2-1 win over No. 12 Wake Forest during a home contest on Friday afternoon. The win was a first-ever ACC victory for the Lady Flames.

With the win, Liberty improves to 3-4 on the season while the Demon Deacons fall to 4-3. Today's win was a rematch of last year's contest in which Wake came out the victor in the closing minutes, 3-2. It was also the Lady Flames' first victory in three tries against the Deacs.

The Lady Flames applied pressure early, recording the first six shots of the contest before the visitors tallied their first shot.

The first half saw numerous opportunities to take the lead, including four penalty corners by Wake and two by Liberty. However, stout defensive efforts from both sides kept the game square at 0-0 heading into the half.

The Deacs drew first blood in the first two minutes of the second half. Anna Kozniuk netted her fifth goal of the season on Wake's fifth penalty corner of the game.

The Lady Flames evened the score at 1-1 in the 46th minute when Sarah Gipe recorded her third goal of the season. Natalie Barr weaved through defenders, as she made her way to the goal, passing the ball off to freshman Alynn Richardson who threw a shot on net. The Deacs' goalie Valerie Dahmen got a glove on Richardson's shot, but was unable to knock it away. Gipe batted the ball out of midair and into the back of the net for the equalizer.

With just 5:32 left in the game, Liberty received the golden opportunity it was waiting on. The Lady Flames turned a defensive effort into a game-winning counterattack when Hannah Jones cleared the ball up the field to Erin Dombach who was sprinting up the middle. Dombach saw teammate Ashlee Krulock even with her as the two made their way down the field for a two-on-one encounter with the Deacs goalie. As Dahmen was in motion, Dombach seized the moment to scoot a pass off Dahmen's right. Wake's goalie missed the ball and was unable to recover in time as Krulock capitalized on the empty netter, placing the ball into the back left corner of the goal for a 2-1 Liberty advantage.

Krulock's goal proved to be the game winner as the Lady Flames played for possession in the closing minutes of regulation, en route to one of the biggest wins in program history.

Liberty returns to action Sunday when the Lady Flames square off against Missouri State for a 1 p.m. contest at Liberty Field Hockey Field. Sunday's matchup will mark the second meeting between the Lady Flames and the Bears, with Liberty posting a 4-1 victory on Sept. 30, 2012.