Oct. 6, 2012
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Villanova field hockey (6-7) lost their second game of the week 2-1 to the Liberty Flames (8-4) in Virginia Saturday afternoon. The game marked the first-ever contest between the two institutions in history. Leah High racked up her seventh goal of the season on a penalty stroke to net the Wildcats' only score.
The Flames and the Wildcats battled back and forth for most of the first half, but Liberty found an opening in the 31st minute when Natalie Barr shot the ball past Alex Diekmann to the back of the cage on a corner play pass from Helen Doolittle. Diekmann registered her three saves of the game in the first half. Liberty held back Villanova offensively, disallowing the Wildcats any shots or corners in the first period.
Villanova slowed down the Flames in the second period limiting Liberty to only three shots and two penalty corner opportunities. One penalty corner was all the Flames needed as Helen Doolittle found the net on a corner play in the 53rd minute to give Liberty the 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats' attack line pressured the Flames as all of their seven shots and corner opportunities occurred in the final half. In the 65th minute, Leah High scored her seventh goal of the season on a penalty stroke, putting Villanova within reach of one goal with five minutes to go. High has now recorded five goals over the last seven games.
Unfortunately High's goal would go on to be the Wildcats' only score as the Flames took the 2-1 victory on their home turf.
Liberty goaltender Mallory Cuccio notched five saves on the game and rookie-goaltender Erin Gorse saw time in the cage for Villanova and registered one save.
The Flames outshot the Wildcats 14-7 and had the 12-7 advantage on corner play opportunities.
Villanova has a chance to earn a road victory this weekend when they play No. 22 Richmond Sunday afternoon at 1 PM in Virginia.