The 2012 Liberty field hockey team finished the season with an overall record of 16-6 (7-1 NorPac), capturing the NorPac East division regular season title in just its first year of competition in the league. Liberty's 16 wins marked a 10-win improvement from its inaugural season a year ago. The Lady Flames rode an eight-game winning streak into the NorPac title game as only the second team ever from the east division to reach the final game. Liberty faced No. 12 Stanford in the title game, but saw its magical season end, dropping the 3-0 decision to the Cardinal.
The Flames Sports Network's Nick Pierce recently had a chance to discuss the 2012 season with the NorPac Co-Coach of the Year, Jodi Murphy, and a pair of freshmen, Natalie Barr and Sarah Gipe. The interviews also look at the expectations of the program as it moves into 2013.
Barr, the 2012 NorPac East Division Offensive Player of the Year and all-conference honoree, paced the Lady Flames in numerous statistical categories this season. The Northern Ireland native finished first on the squad with 100 shots, 16 goals, eight assists, 40 points and four defensive saves. Barr's signature performance of the season came on Oct. 19 against Appalachian State. The midfielder notched a single-game program-record nine points on four goals and one assist. Barr finished the season ranked first in the country among freshmen with 2.0 points per game, garnering her a spot on the Longstreth/NFHCA All-South Region second team.
Gipe concluded the season second on the team 28 points and 13 goals. The Pennsylvania native also added two assists, 44 shots and four game-winning goals, which tied her with Barr for the most on the squad. Gipe notched three two-goal games, including back-to-back games against La Salle and Saint Louis. She was named the NorPac Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24, after scoring four goals in Liberty's three games the previous week. The freshman's banner year earned her the NorPac's Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year award.
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