Liberty finished as the runner-up at the 2018 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship.
The No. 1 seed Connecticut Huskies edged the No. 2 seed Liberty Lady Flames 5-3 in a back-and-forth BIG EAST Championship title game for their seventh straight BIG EAST crown, Sunday afternoon at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
UConn, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, broke a 3-3 tie in the second half with two goals to pull away from Liberty. The Huskies are now 18-3 and have won their last six contests. With the win, UConn earns an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship.
No. 15 Liberty falls to 13-6 with the setback. The Lady Flames have played in each of the last three BIG EAST Championship title games.
Scoring Summary 1' – UCONN – Amanda Collins (unassisted) 12' – LIBERTY – Agueda Moroni (Kendra Jones, Mallory Fortenbaugh) | Penalty Corner 17' – UCONN – Amelia Iacobucci (Abby Gooderham) | Penalty Corner 32' – LIBERTY – Mallory Fortenbaugh (Agueda Moroni) | Penalty Corner 34' – UCONN – Antonia Tiedtke (unassisted) 45' – LIBERTY – Moniek van Aarle (Agueda Moroni) | Penalty Corner 46' – UCONN – Svea Boker (Jessica Dembrowski) 47' – UCONN – Vivienne Tucker (unassisted)
Goalkeepers W: Cheyenne Sprecher 18-3, five saves L: Allison Schaefer 13-6, nine saves
Turning Point Early in the second half, Liberty knotted the game up at 3-3 following a goal from van Aarle on a short corner at the 44:01 mark.
However, UConn responded in emphatic fashion, scoring two goals in a 55-second span shortly after van Aarle's equalizer. Huskies junior Svea Boker scored her 17th goal of the year on a cross from sophomore Jessica Dembrowski to make it 4-3 UConn at the 45:16 mark. Less than a minute later, the Huskies entered the circle again. Following two shots on cage from the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, redshirt senior Cecile Pieper, sophomore Vivienne Tucker tallied a goal on a rebound effort.
Tucker's fourth goal of the season boosted the Huskies' lead to 5-3. The Lady Flames' final penalty corner and best chance to cut into the lead came with less than nine minutes to play on a short corner, but they failed to get within one.
Key Stats & Notes
All-Tournament Team Cecile Pieper, Connecticut Cheyenne Sprecher, Connecticut Amanda Collins, Connecticut Svea Boker, Connecticut Amelia Iacabucci, Connecticut Agueda Moroni, Liberty Ashley Dykema, Liberty Moniek van Aarle, Liberty Jill Bolton, Liberty Mary O'Reilly, Providence Abby Siana, Villanova
Most Outstanding Player – Ceciile Pieper, Connecticut
Up Next The Lady Flames will now wait to see if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship. The NCAA Selection show will air Sunday night at 10 p.m. on the NCAA.com homepage, where the tournament bracket will be unveiled.
Two tournament play-in games will be contested on Wednesday, while the first and second rounds of the championships will be held on Friday and Sunday of next week.