New beast in the east
Liberty defeats Quinnipiac in the Flames first Big East game in Lynchburg
The Liberty Flames (2-5, 2-0 Big East) and the Quinnipiac Bobcats (1-8, 1-1 Big East) faced off in Liberty’s Big East home opener Sept. 23. Liberty took the lead in the first half and maintained control to finish witha 6-1 victory.
“We came out this game having the goal to play with positive energy and joy,” Coach Jodi Murphy said. “This is a team that, if they have a bad pass or a bad ball, they carry it.”
The field hockey team gave out long-sleeve T-shirts to the first 150 fans that read “New Beast in the Big East” to celebrate the Flames conference home opener.
“Today, we played outside of ourselves,” Murphy said. “If we made a mistake it did not define us, and out of that, we had an overflow of joy and cheering.”
The two teams had never faced off against each other until Friday evening.
“We attacked well and defended well,” sophomore middle Abby Julius said. “All across the board, we were united as a team.”
The Flames scored the first goal 10 minutes into the first half. Junior defender Rachel Suter sent the ball into the box and freshman midfielder Aguenda Moroni swiftly redirected the ball past Quinnipiac goalkeeper Olivia Golini.
“We came out of the gates with a lot of fire,” Murphy said.
Seven minutes after the first goal, Julius drew the penalty corner, sending the ball to Suter. Julius regained possession and scored the second goal from the left side.
“We have been working on corner plays, so it felt good to have our hard work and training pay off,” Suter said.
The Flames did not let up as junior forward Summer Parker received a penalty corner 23 minutes into the first half and passed the ball to Julius who scored into the right corner of the goal, bringing the score to 3-0.
“We excelled in generating attack and corner execution,” Suter said.
Liberty’s offensive pressure created problems for the Bobcat defensive line and goalkeeper.
Liberty took nine shots in the first half and 12 in the second. The Flames took 13 penalty corners, resulting in three of the team’s goals.
Comparatively, Quinnipiac had four shots in total and received one penalty corner—which was the shot that allowed Quinnipiac’s freshman forward Lauren Belskie to score a goal 26 minutes into the first half.
Five minutes into the second half senior defender Serena Barr made a shot toward the goal that was redirected and scored by sophomore forward Pippa Best.
Best continued to create offensive pressure as she passed the ball to the left post where freshman forward Kendra Jones tipped it into the goal.
Finally, with six minutes left in the half, Barr made the final goal directly off the penalty corner. This was her fifth goal of the season.
“Every time there was a play in front of the bench, you could hear our girls spurring them on,” Murphy said. “That was a huge part of our success.”
The Flames travel to Norfolk, Virginia Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. to take on Old Dominion University.
ball is a sports reporter.