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Liberty Falls at No. 12 Stanford

August 31, 2014  Palo Alto, Calif.  RSS
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Ashlee Krulock notched her first goal of the season in the 4-1 loss.

Ashlee Krulock notched her first goal of the season in the 4-1 loss.

The Lady Flames field hockey team suffered its first setback of the young 2014 season on Sunday afternoon, falling to the No. 12 Stanford Cardinal, 4-1.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 1-1 on the season and splits its contests during its West Coast weekend swing. The win allows the Cardinal to improve to 2-0 and avenge a 2-1 loss to the Lady Flames in Lynchburg last fall in the NorPac Tournament championship game.

Stanford applied pressure to the Lady Flames' defense early on in the contest with five shots during the first nine minutes of play. The Liberty defense was able to withstand the test for a while, turning away the first four shots before the fifth one found the back of the cage. Liberty goalkeeper Mallory Cuccio recorded two saves during the span, while Erin Dombach recorded a defensive save, as well.

The Cardinal added their second goal of the contest when Lauren Becker put the ball into the bottom right corner of the net with 19:13 remaining in the half.

The score would remain the same until the Lady Flames cut the lead in half during the 45th  minute of play. Hannah Doherty continued her strong weekend of play as she picked up her first assist of the season, passing the ball to the middle of the circle where Ashlee Krulock was waiting in front of the goal. Krulock flicked the shot to the upper right corner of the frame, cutting into the Stanford lead 2-1.

However, the Cardinal offense responded with their own second half push to widen their lead, as they were able to tack on two more goals before the end of regulation.

Liberty put together four shots on the evening, while Stanford tallied 21 shots, 18 of which were on frame.

Junior goalie Cuccio recorded a career high in saves as she turned away 13 shots in the contest, besting her previous record of eight back in 2012.

The Liberty defense stood strong today despite the loss, as they only allowed one goal on eight Stanford penalty corners.

The Lady Flames host their first home game of the season on Friday as they welcome the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth into town. The contest is slated to start at 4 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.