Duke's Leah Crouse scored the game-winning goal 3:57 into overtime to lead the fourth-ranked Blue Devils past No. 18 Liberty, Sunday on Senior Day at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
Liberty closes the regular season with a 10-7 record. The Lady Flames finished 5-2 in BIG EAST play and will enter next weekend's 2019 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship as the No. 3 seed.
Duke improves to 13-6 overall on the year following the victory. The Blue Devils trailed the Lady Flames 2-1 with just over three minutes to play in regulation before mounting the comeback. Liberty's Alivia Klopp scored on a penalty corner tip late in the third quarter (43:32) which gave the Lady Flames the one-goal lead.
Prior to the contest, the Liberty field hockey program honored its senior class – Allison Schaefer, Mallory Fortenbaugh, Annika Roberts, Merich Frizzell, Sydney Baffone, Victoria O'Keeffe and Kira Short – for their contributions to the program. The senior class has totaled 39 victories over the past four years and holds a 21-7 record in BIG EAST matches.
Scoring Summary 18' – DUKE – Haley Schleicher (Lexi Davidson and Lily Posternak) | Penalty Corner 26' – LIBERTY – Mallory Fortenbaugh (unassisted) 44' – LIBERTY – Alivia Klopp (Jill Bolton) | Penalty Corner 57' – DUKE – Lexi Davidson | Penalty Stroke 64' – DUKE – Leah Crouse (unassisted)
Goalkeepers W: Sammi Steele 13-6, five saves L: Allison Schaefer 10-7, six saves
Turning Point Liberty led Duke 2-1 with under 3:30 to play in the game when the Blue Devils drew their eighth penalty corner of the match. Following a Haley Schleicher shot and save by Lady Flames goalkeeper Allison Schaefer, Duke kept the play alive and ended up drawing a penalty stroke.
The Blue Devils' Lexi Davidson buried the penalty stroke into the top left corner of the cage to even the game at 2-2 with 3:04 to play. Liberty's Jill Bolton attempted the only shot in the closing minutes of regulation, and it missed wide with just two seconds left.
Leah Crouse's goal for the Blue Devils came as the sophomore carried the ball from her left to right into the middle-right half of the circle. Crouse blasted a forehand shot as she was on the move into the left side of the cage for the game-winning goal, her 11th goal of the year.
Key Stats & Notes
Up Next Liberty will begin preparing for next weekend's 2019 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Stadium in Hamden, Conn. The Lady Flames are the No. 3 seed at the tournament and will meet No. 2 seed Old Dominion (10-6, 6-1 BIG EAST) in a semifinal game on Friday at 2 p.m. The winner of that contest will meet the winner of No. 1 seed UConn (16-3, 7-0 BIG EAST) and No. 4 seed Providence (12-6, 4-3 BIG EAST) in Sunday's title game at 1 p.m.
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