Kurlej recorded her first career assist, Sunday at Wake Forest.
The No. 13 Wake Forest Demon Deacons overcame a two-goal deficit to top the Liberty Lady Flames, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Kentner Stadium.
Demon Deacons midfielder Megan Anderson's goal in the 53rd minute gave the hosts their first lead of the contest and proved to be the game-winner.
Wake Forest improves to 6-5 overall with the triumph, while Liberty moves to 4-6.
"Today we solidified that we can absolutely outwork, attack and score against the top teams in the country," stated Liberty Field Hockey Head Coach Nikki Parsley. "Our next step is putting together a strong performance for a full 70 minutes."
The Lady Flames struck for three goals in the first half for a second straight contest. Liberty forward Moniek van Aarle entered the scoring column first for the visitors in the eighth minute. Midfielder Agueda Moroni entered the circle on the left side and found an open van Aarle in the middle of the circle.
Van Aarle one-timed a forehanded shot into the back of the cage for her second goal of 2017 putting Liberty ahead, 1-0.
The Lady Flames took a two-goal lead in the 18th minute on Moroni's 11th marker of the year. The Argentina native gathered a pass from Abby Julius in the right side of the circle, dribbled to her left and sent a backhanded strike into the left side of the goal, past Wake Forest goalkeeper Isla Bint, to extend the advantage to 2-0.
Just 57 seconds later, Wake Forest got on the scoreboard. Jule Grashoff sent a cross to Nicola Pluta who finished high past Liberty goalie Allison Schaefer. Pluta's fourth goal of the year cut the Liberty lead in half, 2-1, at 18:47.
The Lady Flames wasted little time extending their lead, scoring in the 21st minute to go up, 3-1. Forward Jenny Kurlej sent a ball from the right side of the circle that found its way through the Wake Forest defense and onto the stick of Alynn Richardson. The senior captain tipped the ball past Bint for her second goal of the season. The assist from Kurlej was the first of her career.
The Liberty defense and Schaefer fought off two short corner attempts from the Demon Deacons in the 24th minute, but the home side once again sliced the Liberty lead in half in the 29th minute. Rachel Hirsch's goal, assisted by Anderson, brought Wake Forest within one (3-2) at 28:53.
The Lady Flames took a 3-2 lead into halftime despite being outshot, 9-4, in the opening frame. Liberty converted on 75 percent (3-of-4) of its shots in the first half.
The Demon Deacons knotted the game at 3-3 in the 39th minute. Wake Forest drew three penalty corners in the first four minutes of the half, finally converting on the last one. Following the insert, Grashoff swept a shot on frame.
Defender Shannon Eby placed her stick low to the ground in the center of the circle, tipping Grashoff's sweep into the top of the goal cage over the head of Schaefer to even the match at 3-all.
Anderson's match winner to the far post at 52:27 came on a feed from Karlee Spirit.
The Lady Flames only managed two shots after intermission. Liberty's only short corner of the match occurred in the 43rd minute, as Moroni's shot attempt sailed wide. The Lady Flames' only shot over the final 17:33 of play came from the stick of van Aarle. Van Aarle's attempt in the 62nd minute was saved by Bint.
Bint (5-3) managed one save in the winning effort, while Schaefer (4-6) received the loss despite making six saves.
Wake Forest outshot Liberty, 17-6, in the game and outcornered the Lady Flames, 6-1.
Liberty field hockey will be back in action next weekend. The Lady Flames will play a BIG EAST contest at Georgetown (7-5, 1-2 BIG EAST) on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by a match at No. 15 Maryland (6-5, 2-2 B1G) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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