Flames surge past Hokies in men's lacrosse fall scrimmage
November 9, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
A third-quarter scoring surge propelled Liberty University's men's lacrosse team to an 11-9 triumph over Virginia Tech in front of College For A Weekend and Fall Recruiting Showcase guests, Friday night at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields.
"The third quarter, which has been our Achilles' heel in the past, for some reason was our best quarter tonight, when we outscored them 6-1," Liberty Head Coach Kyle McQuillan said. "It was good for us to be able to get a win, especially against a team like Virginia Tech."
The Flames and Hokies are perennial favorites in the Northwest Region of the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference (SELC), with their regular-season-ending showdown determining the No. 1 seed for the SELC playoffs in each of the five years Liberty has competed at the Division I level.
The Flames scored first on Friday before the Hokies responded with four consecutive goals and took a 5-2 advantage into halftime.
"It started out low-scoring and took some time for both teams to find their groove," McQuillan said. The new shot clock — one of three rule changes implemented by the MCLA this year — helped increase the tempo in the second half. "So far, I'm a fan of the shot clock. … We're a team that kind of rides momentum and our guys have a lot of energy and speed, so when we're back and forth, playing fast-paced, up-tempo lacrosse, it plays to our advantage."
After being held scoreless in the first half, junior attack Caleb Britton netted a hat trick in the third quarter, with his third goal proving to be the game-winner. He finished with four goals. Junior midfielder Derrick Esh added three more to pace the Flames. Liberty also got two goals and an assist from junior midfielder Carter Elliott, one goal and two assists from freshman midfielder Cameron Carter, and one goal from sophomore attack Austin Aguilar.
Freshman faceoff specialist Shane Reynolds won eight of 24 faceoffs.
"He gave us a lot more opportunities to pick up faceoff wins and that should have been closer to a 50-50 split, but he didn't get a lot of help on the wings," McQuillan said. "Especially early, we lost a lot of opportunities to pick up ground balls off the faceoffs."
Senior defender Ean White, who had spent time in goal for nearby Jefferson Forest High School, started between the pipes for the Flames in place of their regular goalies and kept the Flames in the game, making eight saves while allowing nine goals.