The Lady Flames take to the road for final two regular season contests this weekend.
Sitting atop the NorPac Eastern Division standings, the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team travels to the Tar Heel state for a pair of matchups to conclude its regular season. Liberty travels to Appalachian State on Friday for a 4 p.m. matchup with the Mountaineers, before battling the Davidson Wildcats on Sunday at 1 p.m. How to Follow the Lady Flames Live stats for this weekend's games will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link on the field hockey schedule/results page. Live stats will be provided by the Appalachian State sports information department on Friday and by the Davidson sports information department on Sunday.
Series Against Appalachian State Friday's game will be the third meeting all-time between Liberty and the Mountaineers. The series is tied 1-1, with the Lady Flames winning the last meeting, 8-1, in Lynchburg last Friday.
Series Against Davidson Liberty downed the Wildcats on Sunday, 4-0, to even up the all-time series between the two squads, 1-1.
A Look at the Lady Flames Liberty had arguably its best week of the season last week. The Lady Flames posted a 3-0 record, with each win coming against conference opponents. Liberty topped Longwood, Appalachian State and Davidson to take over first place in the NorPac East. The Lady Flames have won four games in a row and nine out of their last 10 contests for an overall record of 12-5 (5-1 NorPac).
The Lady Flames avenged an earlier loss to Longwood with a 2-0 win over the Lancers last Tuesday. Liberty broke a scoreless tie at the half with second-half goals by Sarah Gipe and Hannah Doherty and the Lady Flames' defense pitched their second consecutive shutout against conference opponents. Mallory Cuccio recorded six saves in the contest for Liberty.
Against Appalachian State, Liberty's offense scored early and often en route to an 8-1 victory. The Lady Flames' eight goals broke the single-game program record of five which was set against Saint Louis on Sept. 29. Natalie Barr scored four goals, setting a new single-game program record. Abbey Basom, Hannah Jones, Gipe and Hannah Goldsborough each added a goal for the Lady Flames.
Liberty took over sole possession of first place on Sunday, with a 4-0 win over Davidson. Prior to the contest, the Lady Flames recognized their lone senior Emily Dinsmore. The Maryland native then helped contribute to Liberty's five shutout of the season. Basom scored a pair of goals, while Doherty and Barr each tallied a goal as the Lady Flames improved to 5-1 in the NorPac.
The Lady Flames swept the NorPac weekly awards on Monday. Barr took home Offensive Player of the Week, while Cuccio and Basom earned Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively.
Dominating Defense Liberty enters the weekend with five shutouts this season, which leads the conference. In the month of October the Lady Flames' defense has surrendered a league-low total of four goals. Liberty leads the conference in numerous defensive categories, including goals against average (1.33), goals allowed (23) and goals allowed per game (1.35). Jones, Dinsmore, Megan Johnson, Ashlee Krulock and Helen Doolittle anchor the strong defensive unit.
In goal, Cuccio holds a 0.64 goals against average. The freshman has recorded a 7-1 record in eight starts, including a conference best four shutouts. Cuccio has tallied 30 saves for a save percentage of .857.
Fabulous Freshmen Liberty freshmen have scored 42 of the Lady Flames' 50 goals this season. No other NCAA Division I team has had more goals scored by freshmen this season. Barr ranks 24th in the country in points per game with 1.87 and 28th in goals per game with 0.71. Gipe is tied for second in the nation among freshmen with 12 goals, while Barr stands in a tie for third with 11. Basom, Barr and Gipe each currently rank in the top ten in the NorPac in both goals and points.
A Look at the Mountaineers Appalachian State dropped both of its contests last weekend, falling, 8-1, to Liberty and 2-0 to Radford. The Mountaineers currently sit in fifth place in the NorPac East. Appalachian State enters Friday's game with an overall record of 3-13 (0-6 NorPac).
For the season, Casey Lammando and Dana Wetmore each have five goals to lead the team. Four other players have contributed three goals apiece. Lammando paces the team with six assists, while Jessi Stuart and Caroline Phillips each have three assists.
Anderson has started all 16 games in goal for the Mountaineers. She has surrendered 57 goals, while saving 123 shots.
A Look at the Wildcats Davidson enters this weekend with an overall record of 7-10 (4-2 NorPac). The Wildcats' 4-2 mark in conference has them in a tie with Longwood for second place in the Eastern Division. This past weekend, Davidson fell to both Longwood, 1-0, and Liberty, 4-0, on back-to-back days.
Finley Amato leads Davidson with 11 goals on the season and is tied for second on the squad with four assists. Funsten tops the Wildcats with six assists, while her four goals rank her second on the team. Five other players have scored at least two goals this season.
Sarah Fisher has started each game in the cage for Davidson. The senior has allowed 42 goals in 17 games for a 2.38 goals-against average. She has tallied 128 saves for a save percentage of .753.
Looking Ahead Liberty will next compete in the first round of the NorPac tournament, next Thursday. The three-day tournament will be held at Longwood. The time and opponent for the Lady Flames' first-round contest has yet to be determined.
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