Liberty defeated Villanova, 3-0, Saturday afternoon in Lynchburg.
The Liberty field hockey team began its 2017 BIG EAST slate with a 3-0 victory over visiting Villanova, Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
The Lady Flames move to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the BIG EAST with the victory, while the Wildcats fall to 1-6 and 0-1 in BIG EAST competition.
Liberty trio of goals came from the sticks of Moniek van Aarle, Agueda Moroni and Summer Parker. Not only did Parker's goal provide the Lady Flames a 3-0 cushion in the 47th minute, it also marked her first goal of the season.
Lady Flames sophomore goalkeeper, Allison Schaefer, (2-3) earned her third career shutout, needing just one save in the triumph. Wildcats senior goalkeeper Erika Miller (1-6) made 10 saves in a losing cause.
Despite a sluggish start that saw Villanova draw four consecutive penalty corners in the first five minutes of play, Liberty went ahead, 1-0, in the 8th minute on van Aarle's first career tally. The graduate student from the Netherlands received a feed from Abby Julius just inside the circle, juked around Wildcats goalkeeper Erika Miller and ripped a forehanded shot into an empty net at 7:34, giving Liberty the early 1-0 edge.
Liberty's first short corner came in the 21st minute, but Moroni's shot was turned aside by Miller (10 saves).
Liberty drew its second penalty corner of the day 10 minutes later. This time, Moroni capitalized on the opportunity. Sophomore Mallory Fortenbaugh sent the insert to stick stopper Cassidy Bremner.
Bremner dished a pass to the left to Moroni, who lifted a shot through traffic and into the left side of the cage. Moroni's fifth marker of her sophomore campaign staked the Lady Flames to a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute of play.
Neither team put a shot on frame in the closing four minutes of the first half, sending Liberty to the break with a 2-0 lead on Villanova.
The Lady Flames dominated possession in the second half, outshooting the Wildcats, 17-2.
Sophomore defender Annika Roberts drew Liberty's first short corner of the second stanza. Senior midfielder Summer Parker sent the insert to freshman Jill Bolton. Parker positioned herself near the left post and redirected Bolton's shot into the net.
Parker's first goal of her senior campaign extended the Liberty lead to 3-0 at 46:28.
While the Lady Flames were assessed two green cards and a yellow card in the closing 12:20 of play, they still applied consistent pressure and managed to outshoot the Wildcats, 8-0, down the stretch.
Liberty outshot Villanova, 26-7, in the game and held a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners.
Liberty is back on the pitch, tomorrow against Kent State (3-5). Match time is pegged for 1 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.