(L-R): Field hockey's Natalie Barr, men's cross country's Will Templeton and women's soccer's Alex Mack are three members of this year's Fall Freshman 15.
The following article first appeared in the Sept. 22 issue of Flames Illustrated, the official game program for the Liberty-Lehigh football game. The text has been updated to reflect accomplishments which have taken place since the original article deadline, but the 15 individuals have not changed.
Returning to the Flames Report for a second year is the "Fall Freshman 15" feature. The following 15 student-athletes have not gained the 15 pounds stereotypically associated with college freshmen. On the contrary, all of the following individuals (listed alphabetically) have already become key contributors for their respective teams during their first few weeks on Liberty Mountain.
Note: All members of the "Fall Freshman 15" must be in their first semester of enrollment at Liberty, which is why names like Caroline Douglas, Ngetich Kipchirchir and Josh Woodrum do not appear below.
Brittany Aanderud (Women's Soccer) – The younger sister of Liberty baseball standout Bryan Aanderud leads the Lady Flames and ranks second in the Big South Conference with four assists.
Natalie Barr (Field Hockey) – A native of Northern Ireland, Barr has been honored by the NorPac Field Hockey Conference twice already this year. She was tabbed NorPac East Division Co-Rookie of the Week on Sept. 10 and NorPac East Division Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17. Barr ranks second on the team in both goals (5) and points (11).
Abbey Basom (Field Hockey) – The NorPac East Division Co-Rookie of the Week on Aug. 27, Basom clinched the Lady Flames' first-ever NorPac victory on Sept. 16 with a goal in double overtime at Radford. She now has three goals on the year.
Jaime Bouffard (Women's Soccer) – The Empire State native netted two game-winning goals in three days, leading to victories over George Washington and South Carolina State. As a result, she was recognized as Big South Attacking Player of the Week on Sept. 18. Bouffard is the Lady Flames' leading scorer this season, with eight points on three goals and a pair of assists.
Jeremie Bourget (Men's Cross Country) – Bourget, a Canadian, finished ninth overall and second on the team at the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational, clocking an impressive 8K time of 24:55.99.
Crystal Elmers (Women's Soccer) – Elmers, whose older sister Dawn is a teammate on the women's soccer team, recorded the Lady Flames' first two goals of the 2012 season. She is the second straight Canadian to appear on this list.
Sarah Gipe (Field Hockey) – In just nine games, Gipe has already tied the program single-season record with seven goals. She has recorded a pair of two-goal games, against Georgetown and La Salle.
Tim Harbison (Men's Soccer) – Harbison has started each of the first six matches of his collegiate career and paces the Flames with three assists.
Sam Hibbs (Men's Cross Country) – One of three Pennsylvania natives among this year's "Fall Freshman 15," Hibbs closed out Liberty's five scorers at the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational with a 36th-place finish.
John Lunsford (Football) – Lunsford was named Big South Freshman of the Week for his performance during the season opener at Wake Forest, which was highlighted by a 49-yard field goal.
Alex Mack (Women's Soccer) – Mack has made an immediate impact for the Lady Flames during her first seven games after recovering from an injury. The defender has helped Liberty go 6-1 and yield just three goals during the stretch.
Courtney Russo (Women's Cross Country) – Russo stepped up for the runner-up Lady Flames at the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational, crossing the finish line fourth on the team and 19th overall. She came in about six seconds ahead of older sister and teammate, Katie Russo.
Will Templeton (Men's Cross Country) – A Tennessee native, Templeton was Liberty's first finisher at the season-opening Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational and placed 13th overall at the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational.
Chima Uzowihe (Football) – Through the first four games of his career, the Houston native has racked up seven tackles, a sack, two quarterback hurries and a blocked kick.
Sachem Wilson (Men's Soccer) – Wilson has started each of his first six collegiate games and has established himself as one of the Flames' most dangerous attackers.
Click here to take a look back at the 2011 Fall Freshman 15
Paul Carmany is an assistant athletics communications director for Liberty Athletics.
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