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Murphy and Three Lady Flames Earn VaSID Field Hockey Honors

December 19, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Murphy and Three Lady Flames Earn VaSID Field Hockey Honors

After leading the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey squad to its second consecutive NorPac Conference title and berth in the NCAA tournament, head coach Jodi Murphy was tabbed the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division Coach of the Year. Additionally, forward Sarah Gipe and defender Serena Barr garnered first team all-state honors, while forward Ashlee Krulock rounded out the honorees on the second team.

Murphy, the 2014 NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year, led an experienced squad to a 14-8 record as well as the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory over Richmond, 3-1, on Nov. 12 at Liberty Field Hockey Field. After finishing 4-0 in the NorPac and claiming their third consecutive NorPac East Division title, the Lady Flames swept through Cal before defeating No. 4 Stanford, 1-0, on Nov. 8 at Pacific Field Hockey Turf. In three years in the conference, Murphy's squad has posted a 19-1 record against division opponents. This year, Liberty posted a season-long eight game win streak, including two victories over Top 20 ACC opponents in No. 12 Wake Forest and No. 11 Louisville. Liberty's strength of schedule paid off, earning the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win as well as first-ever NFHCA Top 20 ranking on Nov. 11 coming in at No. 20.

Gipe adds the first team all-state honor to her list of postseason accomplishments this year. The Greencastle, Pa., native earned a spot on the NorPac All-Conference squad, NorPac All-Tournament team and the NFHCA All-South Region second team. The junior forward paced the Lady Flames and the NorPac Conference with 45 points and a program-tying 19 goals this season. Gipe also added seven assists and recorded three game-winning goals. Gipe finished the season ranked eighth in the nation in goals per game (0.86) and 13th in points per game (2.05).

Barr joins Gipe on the first team all-state squad for the second consecutive season. She joins her sister Natalie Barr as the only two Lady Flames to garner this accomplishment in consecutive seasons. To go along with this honor, Barr was named to the NorPac first team All-Conference, NorPac All-Tournament squad and the NFHCA All-South Region second team. The sophomore defender finished the season with four goals, including her fourth multiple-goal game of her career on Oct. 5 against Appalachian State at Liberty Field Hockey Field. For the second straight season, the Lurgan, Northern Ireland native recorded nine assists, tying Krulock for the most assists on the squad this season.

Krulock rounds out the honorees for the Lady Flames, being named to the second team all-state. The forward was also selected to the NorPac second team All-Conference this season. The Hummelstown, Pa., native finished the season with a personal-best 11 goals on the season as well as a personal-best and team-tying nine assists. The junior forward finished the season with a career-high 31 points, ranking her third on Liberty's career points list.

Player of the Year
Tara Vittese – Virginia

Coach of the Year
Jodi Murphy – Liberty

Rookie of the Year
Lucy Hyams – Virginia

VaSID All-State First Team
Sarah Gipe – Liberty
Serena Barr – Liberty

Caleigh Foust – Virginia
Rosario Villagra – Old Dominion
Pippin Saunders – William & Mary
Tara Vittese – Virginia
Rebecca Barry – Richmond
Loes Stijntjes – James Madison
Dana Allaband – James Madison
Amy Cooke – Richmond
Kelley Wentling – Richmond

VaSID All-State Second Team
Ashlee Krulock – Liberty

Jennifer Burris – Longwood
Emma MacLeod – William & Mary
Taylor West – James Madison
Sarah Breen – Old Dominion
Emma Clifton – William & Mary
Megan Byas – Old Dominion
Kelsey LeBlanc – Virginia
Jesse Ebner – William & Mary
Allison Haas – Richmond
Lauren Bernard - Longwood