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13th-Ranked Lady Flames to Host Villanova in BIG EAST Home Opener, Friday

September 26, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 13 Liberty hosts Villanova in its BIG EAST home opener, Friday at 4 p.m.

No. 13 Liberty hosts Villanova in its BIG EAST home opener, Friday at 4 p.m.

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Liberty will host Villanova in its BIG EAST home opener on Friday afternoon at the Liberty Field Hockey Field. Match time is slated for 4 p.m.

The No. 13 Lady Flames enter Friday's contest with a 5-1 overall record and 1-0 mark in the league. Liberty split a pair of games last weekend on its first road trip. The Lady Flames topped Temple 4-0 in their BIG EAST opener last Friday, followed by a 1-0 setback at No. 18 Wake Forest on Sunday. Liberty was picked to finished second in the league in the preseason coaches' poll.

Meanwhile, Villanova brings a 3-3 overall mark and 0-1 BIG EAST record into the match. The Wildcats dropped their conference opener at Georgetown by a 3-2 score last Friday, followed by a 4-3 home setback to Rider on Sunday. The Wildcats were voted to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason coaches' poll.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty is 4-0 all-time against Villanova and 3-0 against the Wildcats since the Lady Flames joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2016. In those three victories, Liberty has outscored Villanova 12-1.
  • The first NCAA Field Hockey RPI listing of the season was released on Tuesday. Liberty checks in at No. 14, and Villanova is listed at No. 57.
  • Lady Flames junior defender Ashley Dykema garnered inclusion on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. The Newport News, Va., native anchored a Liberty defensive unit which surrendered only three total shots on goal in two games, last weekend. She also recorded an assist in the Lady Flames' triumph at Temple.
  • Liberty currently ranks among the nation's best in several statistical categories, including: scoring margin (No. 2, 2.83), goals-against-average (No. 3, 0.67), shutouts per game (No. 3, 0.50), goals per game (No. 7, 3.50), scoring average (No. 7, 3.50), points per game (No. 9, 9.50) and assists per game (No. 9, 2.50).
  • Freshman forward Daniella Rhodes currently ranks eighth in the nation in points per game (2.50), ninth in assists per game (0.83) and 19th in goals per game (0.83). Senior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer is third in the country in goals-against-average (0.67) and 23rd in save percentage (.765).
  • Liberty won its first five games of the season for the second time in program history. The 2015 Lady Flames also achieved the feat.
  • The Lady Flames have outscored their opposition 21-4 on the season and have significant edges in several other categories, including: shots on goal (65-17), shots-on-goal percentage (.663-.486), shots per game (16.3-5.8) penalty corners (29-22) and penalty corner goals (7-2).
  • Liberty featured three players on the preseason All-BIG EAST team: junior defender Ashley Dykema (preseason Defensive Player of the Year, All-BIG EAST team), junior forward/midfielder Jill Bolton (All-BIG EAST team) and senior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer (All-BIG EAST team).
  • A win over Villanova would be the 100th victory in program history for Liberty field hockey. The program is in its ninth year of existence. The Lady Flames have a 99-64 (.607) all-time record, two conference championships (NorPac, 2013 and 2014) and two NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship appearances (2013-2014).