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No. 25 Lady Flames Set to Take on No. 11 Wolverines, Friday Evening

August 30, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 25 Lady Flames Set to Take on No. 11 Wolverines, Friday Evening

Week Two Field Hockey Notes

The Liberty Lady Flames field hockey squad will play its first road contest of the 2017 season on Friday night at No. 11 Michigan.

Match time is pegged for 7 p.m. at the Phyllis Ocker Field Hockey Field in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

No. 25 Liberty (0-1) is seeking its first win of the season following a 3-1 setback against No. 19 James Madison, Saturday in Lynchburg. No. 11 Michigan (2-0) is coming off a weekend sweep at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa. The Wolverines upset No. 1 North Carolina, 3-2, on Saturday and knocked off No. 15 Wake Forest, 5-4, on Sunday to complete the sweep and improve to 2-0 on the year.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
A live video stream will be available for the match. Find the link for the broadcast on the field hockey schedule page on

Michigan Athletics will also provide live stats for the contest, courtesy of SIDEARM Stats. Find the link on the field hockey schedule page on

Also, be sure to follow Liberty Gameday on Twitter (@LUGameday) for live in-game updates.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty sophomore midfielder Agueda Moroni scored her 11th career goal on Saturday vs. James Madison.
  • The Lady Flames' starting lineup against JMU featured five newcomers (Jill Bolton, Ashley Dykema and Victoria O'Keeffe, Greer Wilson, Moniek van Aarle.). Freshmen Carolyn Haase, Jordyn Keller and Alexis Paone also saw playing time in the contest.
  • Liberty failed to convert on a penalty corner (0-for-5) against JMU. The Lady Flames drew 125 short corners last year (6.94/game) while yielding just 75 short corners (4.17/game).
  • Liberty returns 59.2 percent (29-of-49) of its goal scoring from a year ago. Moroni (10 goals) and Alynn Richardson (six goals) are its top two returning goal scorers.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Allison Schaefer currently has 131 saves, needing 76 more to surpass Mallory Cuccio (2012-15) for the all-time program career mark.
  • Michigan is one of nine preseason ranked opponents the Liberty field hockey squad will face in 2017. The Lady Flames will host the top four teams in the nation in Lynchburg: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Delaware and No. 4 Connecticut. Liberty will face Delaware, which captured the 2016 NCAA Field Hockey Championship title, on Sept. 10.
  • Other ranked opponents the Lady Flames will face include: No. 6 Maryland (road), No. 11 Michigan (road), No. 15 Wake Forest (road) and No. 23 Old Dominion (home).
  • The Lady Flames were picked to finish second in the BIG EAST behind defending league champion Connecticut. Liberty is looking for its first BIG EAST title, after winning NorPac Conference titles in 2013 and 2014.
  • Moroni and junior Abby Julius garnered individual recognition by being voted to the preseason All-BIG EAST team.


Liberty Field Hockey Team Breakdown
Liberty returns three All-BIG EAST selections from a year ago: sophomore Agueda Moroni (first team), junior Abby Julius (second team) and sophomore Allison Schaefer (second team).

Also back for the Lady Flames are formidable attackers Abby Julius and junior Alynn Richardson. Other notable returners include junior defender/forward Pippa Best, sophomore defender Mallory Fortenbaugh, senior defender Rachel Suter, senior midfielder Cassidy Bremner, junior forward Lindsay Pratt and sophomore defender Annika Roberts.

Goalkeeping duties will be the responsibility of Schaefer, senior Monica Hernick and freshman Kennedy Luke. Schaefer was last year's BIG EAST Freshman of the Year.

The Lady Flames welcomed 10 new players to this year's squad. Transfer Greer Wilson will provide valuable experience in the midfield, while graduate student Moniek van Aarle will see significant time on the attacking line. Freshmen Jill Bolton, Ashley Dykema and Victoria O'Keeffe also figure to play prominent roles. First-year players Carolyn Haase, Alexis Paone, Jordyn Keller and Ali Raha will also provide valuable depth to the team.

Coaching Staff Close-Up
One year after joining Liberty's staff as an assistant coach, Nikki Parsley was named the program's second head coach on Jan. 16, 2017. Parsley served an assistant coach under Jodi Murphy during the 2016 season.

Parsley is joined by assistant coaches Jacki Bolt and Natalie Barr. Bolt, in her sixth season with the Lady Flames, returned to the program in March following one year as an assistant at William & Mary. Barr, who played for the Liberty field hockey squad from 2012-15, enters her second year as an assistant coach.

Scouting Michigan
The Wolverines collected two impressive wins over ranked ACC foes No. 1 North Carolina and No. 15 Wake Forest, last weekend. Michigan tallied eight goals in the two contests. The Wolverines defeated the Tar Heels, 3-2, despite being outshot 24-4 in the match.

Seven different Wolverines have entered the scoring column in the early stages of the season, led by sophomore midfielder/forward Meg Downthwaite with two goals. Downthwaite paces the squad with five points, while sophomore defender Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort leads Michigan with three assists.

Senior goalkeeper Sam Swenson will handle the goalkeeping responsibilities for the Wolverines. The England native is 2-0 with a 3.00 goals-against-average and 14 saves in two games. Michigan is coached by Marcia Pankratz, who is in her 18th overall season as head coach of the Michigan field hockey program.