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
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