Season struggles continue

Liberty’s women’s lacrosse faltered versus conference rival High Point

The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team (2-11, 1-2 Big South) surrendered an early one-goal lead and fell to the conference-leading High Point University Lady Panthers (7-5, 3-0 Big South) 17-5 Friday, April 11.

The Lady Panthers struck first when sophomore Emily Meier spun past a defender and scored her 15th goal of the season to give High Point a 1-0 lead after less than two minutes of play. The Lady Flames tied the game at one when redshirt junior Morgan Becker scored her 18th goal of the season.

After a High Point shot was deflected by Liberty senior Kristen Masullo, senior Christie Dougherty scooped up the ball and scored to give the Lady Panthers a 2-1 lead.

LOW POINT — The Panthers outshot the Lady Flames 31-16 Friday, April 11. Photo credit: Leah Stauffer

LOW POINT — The Panthers outshot the Lady Flames 31-16 Friday, April 11. Photo credit: Leah Stauffer

At the 20:02 and 19:00 marks, sophomores Alyssa Kidder and Kallie Britton each scored a goal to give the Lady Flames the lead. Thirty seconds later, the Lady Panthers tied the game at three.

High Point scored three quick goals to retake the lead when Becker scored to cut the deficit to two. The Lady Flames did not score again until 28 minutes later.

But that was not the case for the Lady Panthers, as they scored 10 unanswered goals to increase the lead to 16-4. Junior Kendyl Gardner scored three goals in the last seven minutes of the first period, which ignited a 10-goal run.

Senior Alec Perry scored less than 30 seconds into the start of the second period. After that, Puliese and Kuhlman added goals. The High Point lead reached 10 when Callaway scored. The Lady Panthers added two more goals to make the score 16-4.

“Unfortunately, we lost the momentum,” Masullo said. “They got goals on us, and we started playing down.”

With less than five minutes in the second period, Kidder scored her second goal of the game and eighth of the season from a free-position shot. Kidder’s goal ended the Lady Flames run and concluded the scoring for Liberty. High Point added another goal as sophomore Kristina Renner scored with 43 seconds left in the game.

“We talked a lot about this week, about just coming out and playing our game, you know,” Head Coach Kelly Nangle said. “… And you know, we just really didn’t do the things that we talked about that we were going to do today, unfortunately.”

Liberty was coming into this matchup after its first conference win of the season. However, the Lady Flames were held to five or less goals for the first time since their Feb. 18 matchup against Navy, when they only scored three. The Lady Panthers had six more shots than Liberty in the first period, but in the second, High Point had increased that margin to 15. Liberty had more turnovers than shots on goal in the game.

“They just need to play with more confidence,” Nangle said. “It’s tough. You know, you’re going up against the No.1 team, but they need to go into games expecting to win and not hoping to win. That’s the difference right now.”

The Lady Flames will continue conference play Saturday, April 19 against conference rival Winthrop University at 12 p.m.

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