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No. 2 Seed Liberty Defeats No. 3 Seed Providence 4-0, Moves On to BIG EAST Title Game

November 2, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Second-seeded Liberty defeated third-seeded Providence 4-0 in Friday's 2018 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship semifinal at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.

The Lady Flames, the No. 15 team in the country, will move on to Sunday's title game, where they will meet the No. 1 seed Connecticut Huskies (17-3), a 9-1 winner over the No. 4 seed Villanova Wildcats (9-10) earlier on Friday.

The stage is set for a Liberty-UConn final for a third straight year. The Lady Flames have been in all three BIG EAST title games since joining the conference in 2016. Liberty will be looking to break through for its first BIG EAST title after falling to the Huskies in both 2016 and 2017 championships.

The Lady Flames (13-5) had four different scorers in the contest: Moniek van Aarle, Charlotte Vaanhold, Alivia Klopp and Kemy Meidane. Junior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer (13-5) notched a six-save shutout in a game featuring steady rain in the first half and downpour conditions in the second half. Providence's season ends at 11-8.

Scoring Summary
4' – LIBERTY – Moniek van Aarle (Jill Bolton) | Penalty Corner
15' – LIBERTY – Charlotte Vaanhold (Jill Bolton) | Penalty Corner
18' – LIBERTY – Alivia Klopp (unassisted)
67' – LIBERTY – Kemy Meidane (Agueda Moroni)

W: Allison Schaefer 13-5, six saves
L: Lydia Rice 11-7, 12 saves

Turning Point
Liberty generated strong attack in the first 20 minutes of the contest, scoring three times during that span to take a commanding lead. The Lady Flames' first two markers both came on penalty corner tips (van Aarle at 3:57 mark, Vannhold at 14:45 mark), with both assists going to All-BIG EAST first team member, sophomore Jill Bolton.

Liberty extended the lead to 3-0 on a goal from freshman Klopp, her seventh of the year, at 17:41. Lady Flames goalkeeper junior Allison Schaefer came up with a key save on a penalty stroke from the Friars' Allyson Parker  at the 23:26 mark, keeping the Liberty lead at 3-0.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Schaefer notched the ninth shutout of her career to tie the program record, also held by Mallory Cuccio (2012-15) and Ann Jefferis. Her six-save effort now puts her one shy of 300 career saves with 299.
  • Sunday will mark Liberty's sixth appearance in a conference title game (three BIG EAST, three NorPac) in the program's first eight years of existence.
  • Liberty defeated Providence by the same 4-0 score for the second time in eight days. The Lady Flames also knocked off the Friars by a 4-0 count, last Friday in Providence, R.I.
  • The Lady Flames held a 23-12 edge in total shots and a 16-6 advantage in shots on goal. Nine different players notched a shot for the home side, led by senior Agueda Moroni (five shots, four on goal).
  • Liberty's stout defensive penalty corner unit once again held up. Providence came up empty on seven penalty corner tries, while Liberty converted two of its 12 short corner chances into goals.
  • Moroni recorded an assist in the contest, her 16th game this season with at least one point. She remains tied for first in program history in career goals (54) and with 131 points, she is three away from tying Natalie Barr (134 points, 2012-15) for the career points mark.
  • With 13 wins, Liberty now has its most victories since the 2014 season (14 wins).
  • The Lady Flames are a perfect 6-0 against the Friars.  Liberty has four shutouts in those six contests.
  • Liberty is now 3-2 (.600) all-time at the BIG EAST Championship.

Up Next
Sunday's championship game between Liberty and Connecticut will commence at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field. The match will be streamed live on the BIG EAST Digital Network via the Fox Sports Go app. The winner of the contest will receive an automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Field Hockey Championship.