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LYNCHBURG, Va. – The No. 7 Virginia field hockey team (3-3, 1-0 ACC) fell 3-2 at No. 20 Liberty (4-2, 0-0 Big East) on Sunday (Sept. 16) in Lynchburg, Va.
Virginia held a 2-0 lead at halftime, but the Flames scored three goals in the second half, including the game-winner with 1:45 remaining in regulation, to down the Cavaliers. Sophomore Makayla Gallen (Glen Mills, Pa.) and Grace Wallis (Blue Bell, Pa.) scored UVA’s goals.
“This was a good spectator game with a lot of attack opportunities,” said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. “Our counterattack was better in the first half, which is what gave us our opportunities. It is something we need to work on.”
In a first period that saw only seven combined shots between the two teams, Virginia made the most of its chances. Gallen found herself with a wide-open look at the goal, smashing in a forehand shot 15:32 into the game to put UVA up 1-0. Wallis scored on a rebound off the goalie’s pads after an initial shot by Gallen with just over six minutes remaining in the first half to give Virginia a 2-0 lead.
Liberty began its comeback 2:46 into the second period, with Jill Bolton tapping in a feed from across the circle. The Flames tied the game twenty minutes later, scoring on a deflection into the net after a corner. The Cavaliers had a good opportunity with back-to-back penalty corners with just under four minutes remaining, taking three shots, but all were blocked. The game winner came off a Liberty corner two minutes later, with Alivia Klopp tipping in a ball with 1:45 remaining.
The Cavaliers pulled their goalkeeper after the third goal. With the aid of the extra attacker, Virginia did penetrate the circle in the final minute, but could not get off a shot or draw a corner as Liberty cleared the ball and held on for the victory.
Liberty outshot UVA 8-5 in the second half and held an 11-9 overall advantage. Senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) had two saves. Liberty’s Allison Schaefer made one. Wallis’ goal was her team-leading fourth of the season while Gallen scored her third.
This was Liberty’s first-ever win over Virginia in the five meetings between the two schools. It was the fourth time in the series that the winning team held a one-goal margin of victory.
The Cavaliers remain on the road next week, playing at No. 9 Boston College on Friday (Sept. 21) and Northeastern on Sunday (Sept. 23). Virginia returns home to host No. 8 Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. at Turf Field.