Friday, April 25, 2014

Liberty nixes Knights

McQuillan’s Flames were able to flex their muscles against Southern Virginia

The Flames hit the back of the net less than two minutes into Friday night’s lacrosse matchup and never looked back as they went on to crush in-state opponent, Southern Virginia, 21-6. The Flames improved to 7-1 on the season and clinched a spot in the playoffs.

In stride — Men’s lacrosse clinched a playoff berth after Friday night’s win over Southern Virginia. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

“I think we played well,” junior captain Michael Zumpano said. “Obviously, the score dictates a well-played game. We still made a few mistakes but we’re a young team, and I think we’ve made a lot of improvement and we’re only going to get better.”

The Flames imposed their will early, scoring five unanswered goals to start the game.

The closest the game ever got was when the Knights scored two unanswered goals, one late in the first quarter and the other early in the second, to make it 7-3.

The Knights had momentum on their side, but the Flames seized it right back, scoring two quick goals themselves.

The Knights did not find the back of the net again until the game was 14-4 and all but over.

Bigger Picture

The success in this game, as well as the success this season, has not clouded the vision of the Flames, who still have their eyes fixed on the ultimate goal of competing for a SELC championship.

“Seven-and-one is nothing to be ashamed about and that’s a great record so far, and we still have a lot of work to do,” Zumpano said. “We have an ultimate goal of winning an SELC Championship so we have work to do, but this is a great start so far.”

Head coach Kyle McQuillan echoed those comments.

“I think we still have a lot of work to do to be competitive in playoffs and on the National level, but we’re happy with the win,” McQuillan said. “I’m happy with the way the guys played.”

McQuillan was not shy when asked about his team and if he felt they could compete on the national stage. He thinks he has one of the more talented teams on the East Coast, and their biggest “enemy” could be themselves.

“As soon as we figure out we are better as a team than we are individually, the sky is the limit, but these guys are getting it and we are starting to see us play Liberty lacrosse rather than selfish lacrosse a lot more often,” McQuillan said.

The Flames are winding down the season with only three games remaining and have already clinched their spot in the playoffs. Whether it is as a No. 1 seed or a No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. The Flames have a bit of a layoff before they will be back in action against the Richmond Spiders at home, April 10, at 7 p.m.

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