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Pair of Commonwealth Matchups Await Field Hockey

September 21, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Midfielder Jordan Richardson leads the Lady Flames in assists, with three.

Midfielder Jordan Richardson leads the Lady Flames in assists, with three.

While Liberty field hockey's stretch of road games continues, this week's pair of games will keep the team within the Commonwealth of Virginia.  On Thursday, the Lady Flames travel to Harrisonburg, Va., to face Eastern Mennonite at 7 p.m., and then wrap up the week in Farmville, Va., Saturday at noon, against Longwood.

Now holding a 3-3 record, the Lady Flames are coming off a 1-1 weekend in Moon Township, Pa.  Opening with a neutral site game at Robert Morris, Liberty defeated transitioning NCAA Division II program, Lindenwood, 3-0.  Three different players found the back of the cage, while three other players provided assists in goalkeeper Ann Jefferis' second shutout of the season.

Liberty then concluded the road trip against host Robert Morris, falling in a 1-0 decision after the Colonials scored in the 17th minute of the game.  Jefferis posted six saves in the contest, keeping the junior inside the national top-10 of save percentage.  She currently ranks No. 7, with a .839 save percentage.

On the offensive side, Liberty's attack has received input from a variety of players.  Nine Lady Flames have accumulated points this season, while seven have tallied multiple points.  Freshman Helen Doolittle is the leading scorer with four goals, while Jordan Richardson has tallied three assists to lead the team.

Eastern Mennonite, the third NCAA Division III program on the Lady Flames' schedule, also holds a 3-3 record on the year.  Brenda Bechler leads the Royals in her ninth season as head coach, totaling a 92-60 record at the helm of her alma mater.

Jenna Longenecker leads the team's attack, scoring four goals and recording three assists for 11 points.  Meanwhile, Mary Beth Danaher is the Royals' last line of defense, protecting the cage.  The sophomore goalkeeper has allowed 13 goals through six games and holds a save percentage of .745.

Longwood, who competes in the NorPac Conference, has played to a 3-5 record this season, having defeated Towson (2-0), Sacred Heart (2-1) and VCU (2-1).  The Lancers also dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to No. 9 Duke, on a penalty stroke in the 69th minute.  Head coach Iain Byers is in his seventh year with the Longwood program, holding a 31-41 record. 

On the field, the Lancers are led by sophomore Stacey de Grandhomme.  The South African has posted four goals on the season, including three last week which led her to NorPac East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.  In goal, the Lady Flames will face a strong defender, as junior Kaye Goulding has produced a save percentage of .800, ranking No. 11 in the nation.

The Lancers hold one midweek contest before hosting the Lady Flames on Saturday, as they travel to face No. 2 ranked North Carolina this evening.

Live statistics will be available for both of the Lady Flames' contests this week.  Fans looking to follow the action during play can do so by clicking the live stats link in the right hand schedule column on