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No. 20 Liberty Storms Past James Madison 5-1 in Season Opener

September 1, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The 20th-ranked Liberty field hockey team used a well-balanced attack to defeat the James Madison Dukes by a 5-1 score in its season opener, Sunday afternoon at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.

Five different Liberty players scored in the victory: Jill Bolton, Alivia Klopp, Daniella Rhodes, Mallory Fortenbaugh and Lizzie Hamlett. The Lady Flames converted 3-of-4 penalty corner chances and held a 16-4 edge over the Dukes in total shots and 12-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Liberty moves to 1-0 and has now won its last two season openers, both of which have come over James Madison. JMU falls to 1-1 after splitting its pair of games this weekend. The Dukes topped Bucknell 3-2 on the road, Friday.

Scoring Summary
11' – LIBERTY – Jill Bolton (Bethany Dykema)
19' – LIBERTY – Alivia Klopp (Jill Bolton) | Penalty Corner
35' – LIBERTY – Daniella Rhodes (unassisted)
43' – LIBERTY – Mallory Fortenbaugh (Daniella Rhodes) | Penalty Corner
49' – JAMES MADISON – Miranda Rigg (unassisted)
57' – LIBERTY – Lizzie Hamlett (Daniella Rhodes) | Penalty Corner

W: Allison Schaefer 1-0, one save
L: Caitlin Nelson 1-1, seven saves

Turning Point
Liberty's Jill Bolton put the home side on the board first. The junior forward one-timed a shot into the back of the cage off a feed from outside the circle from Bethany Dykema at the 10:24 mark. The Lady Flames led 1-0 after one period.

Sophomore Alivia Klopp added to the Liberty edge in the 19th minute. Klopp scored on a penalty corner tip, assisted by Bolton. Klopp's marker made it 2-0 Lady Flames and sent the hosts into the locker room with a two-goal advantage.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty is now 5-4 all-time in season openers, including a 3-2 mark against James Madison. The Lady Flames have squared off with the Dukes in each of the last five season openers.
  • Freshman Daniella Rhodes made an immediate impact in her first career game, recording a team-high four points (1 g, 2 a). The South Africa native scored on a reverse in the 35th minute and added assists on penalty corner tallies from Fortenbaugh and Hamlett in the second half as well.
  • Bolton's goal was the 20th of her career, moving her into a tie for seventh place in program history with Hannah Jones (20 goals, 2012-15). Bolton's three-point effort on Sunday gives her 50 career points. She is one of eight players in program history to tally 50 or more career points.
  • Prior to Sunday, the last time the Lady Flames featured five or more different goal scorers was on Sept. 28, 2018, in an 8-1 home BIG EAST triumph over Quinnipiac.
  • Goalkeeper Allison Schaefer, who made her 57th consecutive start, collected her 30th career win. The senior needs eight more victories to surpass Mallory Cuccio (37 wins, 2012-15) for the most all-time in school history.  


Up Next
The Lady Flames will look to move to 2-0 on the season when they host the Richmond Spiders (1-1), Friday at 3 p.m. Liberty is 2-0 against Richmond. The two teams last met in 2015, a 7-1 win for the Lady Flames at home.