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Strong Defensive Effort Not Enough as Liberty Falls to Coastal Carolina, 7-6
Despite allowing a season-low seven goals, the Liberty lacrosse team could not overcome a slow offensive day as the Lady Flames fell to the visiting Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon at Liberty Lacrosse Field.
Liberty drops its second Big South Conference game of the weekend to fall to 1-3 in league play and 2-12 overall. Coastal improves to 4-10 on the season and 2-3 in Big South matches.
The story of the first half was the great play by Liberty goalkeeper, Kristen Masullo. The senior tallied seven of her 10 first half saves in the opening 12:50 of the contest to keep the Chanticleers out of the scoring column.
Coastal Carolina finally snuck one past Masullo on a free-position attempt with 17:09 showing on the game clock, putting the visitors on top, 1-0.
The Lady Flames' offense broke through with their first marker of the game 1:17 later. Jen Moyer tallied her third goal of the season on a free-position shot to tie the contest at one apiece.
The match remained knotted at one until the 6:57 mark when Coastal's Maggie Carr notched a goal to give the Chanticleers the one-goal edge.
Coastal scored the first two markers of the second stanza to take a 4-2 advantage with 6:55 elapsed on the game clock.
A mere 14 seconds after the Chanticleers' fourth goal, Dunay notched an unassisted tally to pull Liberty within one, at 4-3. The goal was Dunay's 18th of the season.
After a scoreless stretch of 7:10, Coastal once again went ahead by two on Sara Nolan's team-leading 25th goal of the season.
The Lady Flames responded with a pair of goals over a 2:45 span to even the match at 5-5. Kelly Belue set up the first goal, lofting a pass from behind the cage to a cutting Kallie Britton for the score. Michaela Rich delivered the equalizer, spinning away from a defender and firing her 14th goal of the season into the cage.
Coastal answered with a two-goal run of its own to take a 7-5 lead with 4:50 remaining in regulation.
Liberty pulled within one, at 7-6, on Becker's second goal of the game and 21st of the season. Sam Struss assisted on the play with 1:38 left in the contest.
The Lady Flames came up with the ensuing draw control, but were unable to convert on their final scoring opportunity as the Chanticleers held on for the 7-6 victory.
For the match, Coastal held the advantage in shots, 33-13, ground balls, 21-15, and draw controls, 9-6. Both squads finished the game with five caused turnovers. Liberty was successful on 12 of 19 clear attempts compared to 11 of 13 successful clears for Coastal.
Masullo finished the contest with 16 saves, her second highest total of the season. Masullo notched a .696 save percentage, which is the second highest percentage in a single-game in Liberty history. For the Chanticleers, Jenna Stover tallied five saves en route the win.
The Lady Flames will play their final road game of the season on Saturday. Liberty will play Davidson at 3 p.m.