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Liberty Rolls Past Providence, 3-0, Clinches Spot in BIG EAST Championship

October 20, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty field hockey's dominating effort on Friday at the Liberty Field Hockey Field helped earn a 3-0 victory over Providence to clinch a spot in the 2017 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship.

Liberty (6-8, 4-2 BIG EAST) received a two-goal effort from Agueda Moroni, while goalkeeper Allison Schaefer recorded her third shutout of the year with a five-save effort. 

The Lady Flames are officially in the four-team field for the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, which will be contested at Providence, Nov. 3-5. They will be either a No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 seed, depending on the outcome of next Friday's game against Temple. A win at Temple would lock up the No. 2 seed.

On Friday, Liberty drew a season-best 14 short corners and notched a season-high 24 shots. The 14 short corners are tied for the fourth most in a single game in program history and the most since the Lady Flames drew 17 corners against Christopher Newport on Sept. 11, 2011.

Liberty's fourth penalty corner of the afternoon, coming in the 15th minute, netted the first goal of the game. Following a Summer Parker insertion to hitter Abby Julius, the junior found freshman Jill Bolton in the center of the circle. Bolton sent a touch pass to Moroni, who scooped a shot into the right side of the cage.

Moroni's 13th goal of the year staked the Lady Flames to a 1-0 lead at the 14:26 mark.

Liberty continued to apply pressure inside the Friars' 25-yard-line and broke through again in the 31st minute. Freshman Alexis Paone controlled the ball inside the left half of the circle and fed a pass over to Moroni in traffic. The Cordoba, Argentina, native buried the ball into the left side of the frame for her 14th goal of 2017 to give the home side a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

Liberty outshot Providence, 11-5, and outcornered the Friars, 6-4, in the opening half.

The Lady Flames' unrelenting attack drew eight more penalty corners in the second stanza while attempting 13 total shots.

Their final tally came just 64 seconds into the second half from the stick of Jill Bolton. From just outside the shooting circle, Moroni sent a ball inside the circle to Bolton. Bolton reared back to attempt a forehanded shot, but her stick met the stick off a Friar defender. She regained possession and moved the ball to her backhand, firing a shot past Providence netminder Megan Guilbert into the right side of the goal cage.

Bolton's fifth goal of her freshman campaign pushed the advantage to 3-0 at 36:04.

Providence drew four short corners in the second half and attempted 13 shots, but the Liberty defense was up to the task in keeping the Friars off the scoreboard.

The victory bumped Schaefer's record up to 6-8 on the season, while Guilbert fell to 10-6 and made two saves in 39:28 in net.

Next up for the Liberty field hockey team is a home match against No. 2 Duke (13-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. Sunday is Senior Day at the Liberty Field Hockey Field, as the program will take time prior to the game to honor its six graduating players.