Tobias tops century scoring mark as Liberty dominates ASU
March 30, 2013 | Boone, N.C.
Junior attack Kurt Tobias became the first player in Liberty University men's lacrosse history to eclipse the 100-goal mark for his career, scoring five goals and adding five assists in the Flames' 16-3 annihilation of Appalachian State, late Saturday afternoon in Boone, N.C.
"Kurt is just Mr. Consistency for us," Liberty head coach Kyle McQuillan said. "He's someone we've been able to lean on and rely on. He's always been there on attack and is always good for at least a couple goals a game and kickstarting our offense. He was our leading scorer last year and led the SELC in points."
Liberty improves to 11-0 overall and 2-0 against North West Region opponents in the Southeast Lacrosse Conference while ASU falls to 1-4, 0-2.
Freshman attack Ryan Miller, who ranks seventh in all of Division II of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association with 45 goals and 24 assists on the season, added six goals and two assists.
Tobias, who now has 101 goals for his three-year Liberty career, ranks No. 19 in the MCLA with 40 goals and 19 assists.
"Ryan Miller and Kurt Tobias accounted for 11 of our 16 goals," McQuillan said. "As a tandem, they've been pretty strong for us. The thing with Ryan, he's a game-day kind of guy. He's very unassuming and if you saw him, you wouldn't think he was as dominant a force as he is on the lacrosse field. But he really shines when it comes to game time. He's very competitive and makes smart decisions in the right situations."
Senior attack Joe Gargiulo and sophomore attack Chris Armstrong each added two goals and one assist and senior midfielder Derek Haywood scored the games' first goal, capitalizing on a man-up situation.
"It took both teams a little time to settle into the game," McQuillan said. "They were aggressive on defense and their slides were coming very quickly. The first quarter was competitive and from then on, we started pulling away. We're a very well-conditioned team and we played a very conservative game. We possessed the ball well and didn't have very many unforced turnovers."
Freshman faceoff specialist Charles Fianko won 16 of his 21 faceoffs and led team in ground balls with 10. He also distributed one assist.
"He had a great game taking faceoffs," McQuillan said. "We probably possessed the ball 75 percent of the time, which was awesome."
Defensively, the Flames gave up their second-fewest number of goals this season, and fewest shots (11) in any one game as sophomore goalie Ethan Kamholtz needed only to make eight saves.
"Defensively, it was one of our best showings," McQuillan said. "Our defense did a great job of protecting our goalie, forcing a lot of turnovers, and systematically moving the ball up the field. We played very disciplined defense, made good decisions with the ball and gave them very few options. We controlled the clock and the possession."
For first time this season, the Flames had fewer penalty minutes than their opponent.
"Appalachan State played with some penalties and man-down situations," McQuillan said. "We tell our guys to play strong defense and be aggressive. Today, they were able to continue to stay aggressive but stay out of the penalty box."
He said the win, which was equally decisive as Liberty's 23-4 triumph over Davidson in its only other North West Region game so far, should solidify the Flames' No. 6 ranking in MCLA Division II before they travel to face Richmond, a Division I team moving up to the NCAA Division I level next year, on Friday.
"We're always trying to pad that resume for us moving into Division I," McQuillan said. "The fact that we were able to kind of dominate sends a pretty clear message."
Richmond has lost five of seven games since winning its first three, but it is coming off a 14-7 win over George Washington, a team the Flames beat by a 17-5 count.
"Richmond's going to be the hardest team we play this season," McQuillan said. "They're a very competitive team. They've had a very, very strong schedule, facing a handful of teams ranked in Division I. They're where we want to be playing next year so we've got a little bit to prove. We played them the first year in 2010 and they got the better of us by about the same margin as we won by today. Last year, we played a very good game and only lost by a one or two-goal margin. This year, we have full intentions of going in to protect our undefeated record."