Liberty wins Big East battle following two losses the previous weekend
- Three goals by Liberty’s Agueda Moroni propel Flames to victory over Old Dominion University.
- Win gives Lady Flames confidence and momentum following back-to-back Big East conference losses.
Liberty Field Hockey (4-5, 2-1 Big East) knocked off Big East foe Old Dominion University (4-6, 1-2 Big East) 3-1 Saturday thanks to a hat trick from the team’s leading scorer, Agueda Moroni. In what wound up as a tight defensive battle, Liberty prevailed for its second Big East win of the season.
“Collectively, I think that we did such a good job (passing and getting) those corners in order to score,” Moroni said. “(Our) defense did amazing, I think it was a good job collectively.”
After getting on the board early at the 7:43 mark, Liberty did not score again for about another 20 minutes, until Moroni scored on a penalty corner goal that was assisted by Pippa Best and Summer Parker. Moroni scored her third goal at the 31:52 mark, when Abby Julius assisted her on a backhanded strike that made the game 3-0.
Old Dominion responded with less than two minutes left in the half when its leading scorer Erin Huffman scored on a penalty corner goal.
“I think we struggled a little bit in the first 10, 15 minutes,” Head Coach Nikki Parsley said. “We gave up a lot of corners because we weren’t tackling outside the circle. The defense was really lights out. There is no question that one of our greatest strong suits this year is our defensive unit.”
Although Liberty only managed to get 10 shots off, six of them were on goal and they held Old Dominion to only five shots on goal. Liberty also cracked down on the defensive side as the game progressed, giving up six penalty corners in the first half and zero in the second half, while they had one penalty corner opportunity in the first half and four in the second.
“I was really fired up to come out and have another game to get out here and work on things that we did in practice this week,” defenseman Mallory Fortenbaugh said.
Friday’s game was also highlighted by the play of Liberty goalkeeper Allison Schaefer. She made four stops on five shots, including a few diving saves. Her presence in the net made it difficult for Old Dominion to get any momentum.
“Collectively, as a team, I think that we did a really good job of putting last weekend behind us and moving on from that,” Fortenbaugh said. “It would have been really easy to hang onto those losses.”
After back-to-back one goal losses last weekend, Fortenbaugh talked about how this win is a key part to moving on from a difficult week and gaining some momentum back.
“I think one thing that we’re all really learning is trying to not let the highs get too high, and the lows get too low,” Parsley said.
The Field Hockey team returns to Liberty Field Hockey Field Oct. 14 when it takes on top-ranked University of Connecticut in a pivotal Big East matchup. The Lady Flames look to avenge last year’s loss in the Big East Championship and keep pace with Connecticut in this year’s Big East race.