Bolton and Iritxity Irigoyen Receive BIG EAST Awards
Liberty’s Jill Bolton and Azul Iritxity Irigoyen were honored by the BIG EAST on Tuesday for their performances in a pair of shutout wins over Villanova and No. 9 North Carolina over the weekend.
Bolton was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and sixth time in her career. Iritxity Irigoyen garnered BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week status for a second straight week, third time this season and seventh time in her career.
Bolton set two major program milestones in the victories over Villanova and No. 9 UNC. The senior forward recorded her fourth career three-goal game in No. 10 Liberty’s 7-0 home win over the Wildcats on Friday. Bolton’s first goal of the day, which came on a penalty stroke at the 20:39 mark, gave her 136 career points.
The 136 points were a new program record, eclipsing the previous record of 135 set by Agueda Moroni (2016-18). Bolton tacked on two more goals in the contest, scoring in the 26th and 55th minutes.
On Sunday at No. 9 UNC, the senior scored two goals, the 55th and 56th of her career. Bolton’s first goal of the day came at the 21:13 mark and put Liberty up 1-0 in an eventual 4-0 win. Bolton and the Lady Flames handed UNC its first-ever loss at Karen Shelton Stadium. The Tar Heels had previously been 41-0 at the stadium, which opened in 2018, prior to Sunday’s setback.
Bolton capped off the scoring for Liberty with a goal in the 55th minute. The goal was the 56th of her career, a new program record, surpassing Moroni (55 goals). She also made a defensive save late in the third quarter, helping preserve the Lady Flames’ shutout.
Through 12 games this season, Bolton paces the squad in goals (14), points (33), shots (61) and shots on goal. She currently ranks fourth nationally in goals per game (1.17) and fifth in points per game (2.75).
Iritxity Irigoyen posted a 2-0 record, 0.00 GAA, eight saves and one shutout over the weekend. The sophomore goalkeeper recorded a six-save shutout against No. 9 North Carolina in what was Liberty’s first-ever win over the Tar Heels in their eighth all-time meeting. It was her fourth shoutout of the season and seventh career clean sheet.
Iritxity Irigoyen played the first three quarters of Liberty’s 7-0 home triumph versus Villanova on Friday, making two saves. Liberty’s two shutouts this weekend give the Lady Flames five on the season. In 12 games this season, all starts, Iritxity Irigoyen holds a 10-2 record with a 1.11 goals-against-average (No. 12 in nation), a .764 save percentage, 42 saves and four shutouts.
This is the second time this season in which Bolton and Iritxity Irigoyen collected offensive and defensive player of the week recognition during the same week. The duo earned the honors at the beginning of the fall season, Aug. 31.
Bolton, Iritxity Irigoyen and first place Liberty (10-2, 4-0 BIG EAST) will be back in action on Friday night for a BIG EAST game at Temple (7-5, 3-1 BIG EAST). Match time is 4 p.m. at Howarth Field in Philadelphia, Pa.