Liberty’s fall sports are officially underway all over campus, and we will provide weekly updates on all of the teams throughout the semester.
Tristian Merchant’s first appearance in a Liberty cross country uniform was a memorable one as he raced to an individual victory in the men’s 8K on Friday at the Eye Opener at Milliken Research Park. That performance helped lead the Flames to a men’s team title. He was one of 10 Flames to cross the finish line inside the top 18 as Liberty posted a 15-point margin of victory over Furman atop the 18-team men’s field.
Meanwhile, Adelyn Fairley took 11th in the women’s 5K, pacing the Lady Flames to a third-place team showing. The Lady Flames edged South Carolina by one point for third place out of 17 women’s squads. Liberty trailed only Furman and Clemson in the final standings.
The Lady Flames will return to action on Sept. 23 at the Virginia Invitational in Charlottesville at Panorama Farms, site of the 2023 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
FIELD HOCKEY (5-1)
Liberty junior Martu Cian scored the game winning goal with 1:07 to play in overtime, lifting No. 9 Liberty to a 2-1 victory over No. 14 Harvard on Friday.
On Sunday, the Lady Flames suffered their first loss of the season, falling to No. 13 Duke, 2-1, in overtime. Duke’s Alaina McVeigh scored the game winning goal with 48 seconds left in the overtime period. It marked the fourth game of the season that has gone into overtime and/or a shoot for Liberty. The Flames are currently ranked No. 10 in the country.
The Lady Flames will return home for their first Big East game of 2023, facing Old Dominion on Friday at 3 p.m. in what will be a rematch of the 2022 Big East Field Hockey Championship title game. Liberty won that game, 3-1, to win its second straight Big East crown.
WOMEN’S SOCCER (7-0)
Liberty’s game at Queens on Thursday was canceled due to weather. On Sunday, Ava Goodman and Rachel DeRuby provided the needed offense while the Liberty defense excelled, not allowing a single shot to Marshall. Liberty defeated the Thundering Herd, 2-0, to improve to 7-0 on the season and extend their NCAA Division I leading unbeaten streak to 20 games (17-0-3).
Liberty faces Appalachian State at Osborne Stadium on campus in Lynchburg, Virginia on Thursday with match time set for 6 p.m.
MEN’S SOCCER (4-1)
Liberty returned to the pitch for the first time since Sept. 3 on Tuesday evening, handing Longwood its first loss of the season by a final score of 3-1. Michael Huss and Luke Eberle each scored their team-leading third goals of the season, while Bryce Swinehart scored his second goal for the Flames in the victory.
Liberty will host USC Upstate at Osborne Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Liberty earned its first win over a nationally ranked opponent in program history, defeating No. 23 Hawaii, 3-2, on Thursday to keep their unbeaten start to the season going, improving to 7-0.
Less than 24 hours later, the Lady Flames suffered its first setback of the year, following to UCLA, 3-0. On Sunday, Liberty fell to Pepperdine in four sets to conclude the team’s time in Hawaii at the Outrigger Volleyball Championship with a 1-2 record.
The Lady Flames will now travel to College Station, Texas for a pair of matches hosted by Texas A&M. Liberty takes on Houston at 6 p.m. Thursday before facing Texas A&M on Friday at 1 p.m.