LYNCHBURG, Va. – The No. 22 Old Dominion field hockey team (7-4, 3-1 BIG EAST) defeated conference foe and fellow ranked team, No. 15 Liberty (7-3, 3-1 BIG EAST), 3-2 on the road on Friday afternoon behind a multi-goal effort from senior Tori Harwood.
"We played together really well this afternoon and got the reward in the result," head Coach Andrew Griffiths shared after the final whistle. "It was a real battle, Liberty plays hard and always plays with a lot of energy and excitement. We handled this and the environment with composure."
The Flames came out in the first quarter firing on offense, but sophomore goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray was ready for the onslaught, as she corralled five saves in the first 15 minutes of action.
The scoreless tie would break in the 23rd minute, as Liberty’s Alivia Klopp would finally get one by MacGillivray for her third goal of the campaign to give the Flames the first lead of the day.
The Monarchs would remain scoreless going into the halftime locker rooms. ODU was held to just two shots and was never awarded a penalty corner in the first 30 minutes of play. The Flames took nine shots and had two penalty corner opportunities at the break.
The Monarchs scored their first goal in the 36th minute, as senior Rebecca Birch was awarded a penalty stroke and took advantage, registering her seventh goal of the season to tie the game at one apiece.
Shortly after the Birch goal, Harwood netted the Monarchs’ second goal to give her team a 2-1 lead. Harwood took a pass from sophomore Riley Taylor and scored her first goal of the season on a fast break.
The Monarchs went into the game’s final quarter with a one-goal lead, but that quickly evaporated as Liberty’s Daniella Rhodes scored her ninth goal of the season to bring the two teams into a 2-2 tie.
Just over three minutes later, Harwood would net her second goal of the game passed Flames goalie Allison Schaefer to put the Monarchs ahead for good, 3-2. Harwood scored on a pass from classmate Ashleigh Thomas, who collected her first assist of the year on the play.
"I am impressed with our team's mentality under pressure. Liberty tied the game in the fourth quarter and had some momentum at the time, but we stayed on track and played aggressively and on the front foot to take the lead back soon after," Griffiths added.
Harwood’s two goals came on a team-leading three shots, all on target. MacGillivray earned her seventh win of the season after collecting eight saves.
"We moved the ball quickly and effectively as the game got further along. Our back and midfield lines held strong defensively throughout, and in the second half we began to attack with more conviction and purpose," Griffiths said. "As our off-ball movement improved we were able to build some really nice passing patterns and that created two of our goals."
The Monarchs will look for another upset victory on Sunday, October 13 when they take on No. 4 Duke on the road. Match time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.