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2019 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship Preview

November 6, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 3 seed Liberty will travel to Quinnipiac for the 2019 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, which begins on Friday.

The 19th-ranked Lady Flames (10-7, 5-2 BIG EAST) will begin their journey for a BIG EAST crown on Friday at 2 p.m. against the No. 2 seed and 18th-ranked Old Dominion Monarchs (10-6, 6-1 BIG EAST).

The four-team BIG EAST Tournament will be held at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey Stadium in Hamden, Conn. The winner of Friday's semifinal match between Liberty and ODU will take on either the No. 1 seed and third-ranked Connecticut (16-3, 7-0 BIG EAST) or the No. 4 seed Providence Friars (12-6, 4-3 BIG EAST). The Huskies and Friars will meet in the first semifinal, Friday at 11 a.m.

The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2019 Division I Field Hockey Championship.

Liberty is in search of its first BIG EAST title. The Lady Flames captured NorPac Championship crowns in 2013 and 2014 to earn berths into the NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Flames won five BIG EAST regular season games to earn the No. 2 seed. Liberty has captured five or more conference regular season contests in each of its four years in the league and holds a 21-7 mark since joining as an affiliate member prior to the 2016 season.

The Lady Flames are ranked No. 19 in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll and have been inside the top 20 in all nine national polls, this season. Liberty is No. 20 in the NCAA Field Hockey RPI.

Liberty and Old Dominion met on Oct. 11 at the Liberty Field Hockey Field, with the Monarchs prevailing 3-2. ODU scored all three goals in the second half.

All BIG EAST Championship games will be streamed live on the BIG EAST Digital Network presented by SoFi. The contests will be carried on Caffeine, Twitter and YouTube.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty is making its fourth straight appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Lady Flames have defeated Providence twice (1-0 score on Nov. 4, 2016 and 4-0 score on Nov. 2, 2018) and Old Dominion once (3-1 score on Nov. 3, 2017) while losing to UConn in the final in 2016 (3-2 score), 2017 (3-0 score) and 2018 (5-3 score).
  • The Lady Flames are the No. 3 seed in the tournament for the first time. They were the No. 2 seed in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • Liberty is 1-2 against the championship field this season, facing all three opponents on its home turf at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
  • The Lady Flames are 4-3 all-time against Old Dominion. Liberty is 0-7 all-time against UConn and 7-0 against Providence.
  • Liberty enters postseason play among the top 20 teams in the country in: shutouts per game (No. 5, 0.41), scoring margin (No. 10, 1.56), scoring average (No. 11, 2.90), goals per game (No. 12, 2.94), points per game (No. 13, 8.06), assists per game (No. 14, 2.18) and goals-against-average (No. 20, 1.33).
  • Individually, Lady Flames freshman Daniella Rhodes is No. 13 in the nation in points per game (2.00), No. 18 in goals per game (0.76) and No. 32 in assists per game (0.47).
  • Senior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer is 19th in the country in goals-against-average (1.33). She is the program's all-time leader in career shutouts (16), wins (39) and saves (352).
  • Junior forward Jill Bolton is the program's active leader in career goals (28) and points (70). Senior defender Mallory Fortenbaugh has the most career assists of any active Liberty player with 24 assists, which ranks fifth most in school history.
  • Liberty is 9-0 against unranked teams this year and 1-7 against ranked counterparts. Six of the Lady Flames' seven losses to top-25 teams have come by one goal.