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Liberty Tops Appalachian State, 3-1, for 5th Straight Win

October 26, 2012  Boone, N.C.  RSS
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Sarah Gipe scored her team leading 13th goal on Friday.

Sarah Gipe scored her team leading 13th goal on Friday.

The Liberty Lady Flames pushed their winning streak to five with a 3-1 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd-Brewer Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Liberty has now won 10 out of its last 11 games to improve to 13-5 overall (6-1 NorPac). The Lady Flames, whose five-game winning streak equals the program record set earlier this season, remain atop the NorPac East Division standings with just one game remaining. With the loss, Appalachian State's overall record falls to 3-14 (0-7 NorPac).

The opening minutes of the first half proved to be a defensive struggle. Liberty's Mallory Cuccio recorded a pair of saves in the 13th minute to keep the game scoreless.

Appalachian State broke through first with 10:49 remaining in the opening half. Off of a penalty corner, Laura Malinoski fired a shot into the left side of the cage to put the Mountaineers on top 1-0. Dana Wetmore tallied her third assist of the year on the play.

Liberty knotted the score at one with 2:22 left in the first stanza. Morgan Mummau dribbled up the right sideline and laced a pass into the circle to Sarah Gipe. The freshman worked the ball toward the cage and ripped a shot into the top of the goal for her team-leading 13th goal of the season.

The score remained tied at one heading into the break. During the opening half, both teams notched five shots, while the Lady Flames held the slight edge in penalty corners, 2-1.

In the 62nd minute, Liberty earned its fourth penalty corner of the second half. Natalie Barr received the insert from Hannah Doherty at the top of the circle. Barr dribbled the ball, spun back to her right and ripped the ball toward the cage. Megan Johnson redirected the Barr pass into the goal to give the Lady Flames the 2-1 lead. It was Johnson's fourth goal of the season and the team-best seventh assist for Barr.

The Lady Flames tacked on their third and final goal with 29 seconds remaining in the contest. Barr collected a loose ball in front the goal and tapped it past Mountaineers goalie Sarah Anderson for her 12th goal of the year and a 3-1 Liberty lead, which is how it would end.

For the game, Liberty outshot the Mountaineers 17-7 and earned eight penalty corners to Appalachian State's one.

Cuccio tallied four saves for her eighth win of the season, while Anderson notched 10 saves for the Mountaineers.

Liberty returns to action on Sunday for its regular-season finale at fellow NorPac foe Davidson. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. If the Lady Flames are victorious, they will wrap up the NorPac East Division regular-season championship during their first year as a conference member.