Liberty once again has a pair of games this weekend, facing Lindenwood Friday and Robert Morris Sunday.
On the heels of a successful 2-0 weekend of competition, the Liberty field hockey team returns to the road Thursday in preparation for a pair of games in Moon Township, Pa. On Friday, the Lady Flames will match up in a neutral-site game with Lindenwood at 11 a.m., before finishing the weekend against host Robert Morris, Sunday, in a noon start. Head coach Jodi Murphy's squad picked up its first win in program history last weekend with a 3-0 defeat of Marywood. Freshman Helen Doolittle paced the Lady Flames' effort, notching her second and third goals of the season, while Amanda Marroquin pitched in her first career goal. Finishing the weekend with a 2-1 win over Christopher Newport, three more players earned the first points of their careers. Mercedes Cox found the back of the cage on a pass from Jordan Richardson, while Abby Batdorf scored late in the contest to give the Lady Flames the one-goal decision. Liberty's defense has continued to be a strength, particularly with the play from junior goalkeeper, Ann Jefferis. The first release of NCAA cumulative statistics for the 2011 season placed the Harlesyville, Pa., native in the top-10 in the nation for two goalkeeper statistical categories. Jefferis ranks No. 7 in saves per game at 9.25, while being No. 8 in save percentage, blocking shots away at a .822 clip. Opening against Lindenwood, Friday, Liberty will match up against a transitioning program, as the Lions are in the middle of moving from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. Lindenwood, who Liberty will also face to close the season, is led by first-year head coach Sarah Johnson. The Lions are currently 0-2, dropping matches to Mercyhurst and Hendrix during the first weekend of September, both by a score of 4-1. Facing Robert Morris on Sunday, the Flames will play their second Northeast Conference (NEC) opponent on the season, after hosting Rider on Labor Day. The Colonials have already played six games this fall, competing to a 2-4 record. Their wins have come against St. Louis, 4-1, and Colgate, 3-2 in overtime. Robert Morris will also pack in two more games before facing the Lady Flames on Sunday, matching up with Ohio on Friday and Lindenwood on Saturday. Freshmen Jamie Hartley and Taleah Scott lead the Colonials with eight points apiece, each chipping in with two goals and four assists. Hartley brings an aggressive attack, as she has fired 26 of the team's 62 shots this season. Michelle Lewthwaite, another Robert Morris freshman, isn't far behind in points, scoring two goals and adding an assist for five points. Both goals came in the Colonials' 3-2 overtime win over Colgate, and also led to Lewthwaite's NEC Player and Rookie of the Week awards. Live stats will be available for the matchup with Robert Morris, Sunday, as provided by the Robert Morris Sports Information department.
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