Lynchburg, Va. -- Jackie Lerro gave University of Lynchburg's field hockey team a hat trick Sunday to lead the Hornets over No. 2-ranked Rowan University, 4-3, at the Liberty University Field Hockey Complex.
Lerro scored thrice and also assisted the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute, finding Emily Dudley for the Hornets' fourth goal.
The win was Lynchburg's first over Rowan since 1983 and broke the Profs' 12-game unbeaten streak versus the Hornets. That streak included two defeats at Rowan's hands in 2018, including a season-ending loss in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III tournament. It also moved the Hornets to 8-0 on the Liberty University turf since they began playing an annual set of home games at the facility in 2017.
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Lerro was a spark for the Hornets from the outset, put up three shots with the third one finding the back of the cage putting Lynchburg up, 1-0, in the 10th minute. In the second quarter, Lerro continued the attack with her second goal on the afternoon on an assist from sophomore Kaylie Truitt, putting the Hornets up by two in the 21st minute.
Rowan (7-1) responded with a goal from Kristiina Castognola on an assist from Casey Wagner, making the score 2-1, Hornets, before the half.
A minute into the third quarter, sophomore Brittany Claybaugh drew a foul in front of the cage, resulting in a Lynchburg penalty stroke goal from Lerro putting the Hornets up, 3-1. The Profs responded with a goal from Bridget Guinan, cutting the score to 3-2 with one quarter left to play.
After Lynchburg junior Hayden Shockley caused a turnover, she sent the ball downfield, and the Hornets connected several passes to set Dudley open in front of the cage, and the junior finished to regain Lynchburg's two-goal lead.
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Rowan answered one last time with a late goal from Guinan to cut the Hornets' lead to one in the final minute of the game, but the Hornets held on.
The Lynchburg field hockey team will be back in action at home on Shellenberger Field on Friday, Oct. 4 to begin Old Dominion Athletic Conference action against the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon College at 7 p.m.