Farmville, Va. – Pacific Field Hockey's bid to upset the top-seeded Liberty Flames came up just short in a 2-1 overtime loss on Thursday, November 1 in the first round of the NorPac Tournament.
The Tigers heartbreaking defeat came despite a phenomenal performance from their keeper Ashlee Schlesier. The senior recorded 12 saves, while facing 14 shots on goal, 11 corners and 24 total shots. Samantha Romero scored for the Tigers to collect her sixth goal of the season and take the 1-0 second half lead, but the Flames would score two unanswered to advance in the tournament.
The loss dropped Pacific to 5-13, while the victory improved Liberty to 15-5.
Led by a vintage performance in the opening half by Schlesier, the Tigers played to a scoreless tie. Liberty received eight corners and took 10 shots, but none could beat the Pacific senior. Schlesier finished the stellar first half with five saves.
The Tigers best chance in the first half came when Samantha Romero found a seam in the Liberty defense and ripped a shot, but it went just wide of the cage leaving the contest scoreless.
The second half was another scoreless draw with Schlesier and the defense keeping the Tigers in the game until the offense could strike in the 51st minute. Senior Dinah Compton controlled the ball in the right side of the circle and sent a cross pass to the back left post where Samantha Romero was in perfect position. The senior fired a shot that beat Liberty's keeper to take the 1-0 lead.
However, the Flames would not go away, just over three minutes after the Tigers took the lead, Liberty had two great opportunities that were again stopped by Schlesier. But, Pacific's solid defense would finally surrender a score with just over 13 minutes left in the contest. With the Tigers down a player after receiving a green card in the 57th minute, Liberty's Hannah Doherty tied the score at 1-1 after capitalizing on a two-on-one opportunity.
The tying score would not slow down Pacific's defense and Schlesier. Despite facing 12 total shots, the senior goalie would finish the second half with seven saves to be the main reason the contest headed into overtime period.
However, the Liberty attack would finally prove to be too much when Natalie Barr found the back of the cage just over a minute into the sudden-victory overtime period to win the hard-fought battle 2-1.
Pacific will take on a familiar face to end the season tomorrow, November 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST against UC Davis. It will be the third time the teams play this season, which included a 4-3 overtime contest to open NorPac play this year.