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Strong Defensive Effort Leads Liberty Past St. Francis, 9-5
The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team used a strong defensive effort to earn its second consecutive victory, defeating the visiting St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash, 9-5, at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. Liberty surrendered only 15 shots in the contest and caused a season-high 17 turnovers, while holding the visitors to their lowest goal total of the season en route to the victory.
The Lady Flames climb to a game over .500 with the win, at 3-2 overall, marking their best five-game start in program history. The victory also improves Liberty to 3-1 all-time against St. Francis. The Red Flash drops a game below the .500 mark at 2-3 on the season.
Liberty wasted little time taking the lead, scoring 1:17 into the contest. Jen Freymond tallied her eighth goal of the season, finding the back of the net off of a pass from Lady Flames' assist-leader, Sam Struss.
The Red Flash responded with a pair of goals to take their only lead of the contest, scoring twice within a 1:01 span. Leading scorer Olivia Pittman fired home a goal on a free position attempt, before Megan Ross put St. Francis on top 2-1 with her fourth marker of the season.
Liberty clamped down defensively the remainder of the half, holding the Red Flash without a goal, while only allowing four shots in the final 26:53 of the opening stanza.
The Lady Flames went on a 5-0 run to take control of the game, beginning at the 26:41 mark of the first half. Kallie Britton assisted on Morgan Becker's lone goal of the contest, and 11th of the season, to tie the score at two apiece.
With 18:05 showing on the first half clock, Britton put Liberty on top, 3-2, with the first of her three goals on the afternoon. Kacie Fogle notched the first of her game-high three assists on the play.
The last 9:00 of the opening stanza turned into the Nina Dunay show, as the Lady Flames' junior scored three consecutive goals to close the half. Kelly Belue and Struss delivered the passes that allowed Dunay to score on the first and second goals, respectively. The Ashburn, Va. native tallied the third goal unassisted to give Liberty the 6-2 lead heading into the break.
St. Francis began the scoring in the second half on a Katie Schaaf goal with 6:22 elapsed in the stanza.
The Lady Flames pushed their advantage to five after back-to-back goals by Fogle and Britton. Becker assisted on Fogle's marker, while Britton's tally came off of another helper from Fogle.
The Red Flash trimmed the Liberty lead to 8-5 with 2:34 remaining in the contest. Christina Fini notched an unassisted goal, before Schaaf scored her second goal of the game off of a pass from Rachel Larson.
The Fogle to Britton connection struck for the third time with under 10 seconds showing on the game clock. Britton ripped home her ninth goal of the season, concluding the day's scoring and giving the Lady Flames the 9-5 victory.
For the game, Liberty held the advantage in shots (27-15), ground balls (29-19) and caused turnovers (17-9). Both teams controlled the draw eight times, while the Lady Flames were successful on 19 of 25 clear attempts compared to 14 of 22 for the Red Flash.
Liberty goalie Kristen Masullo notched 10 saves in the victory, while Kimberly Peterson stopped 12 shots despite the loss for St. Francis.
The Lady Flames will look to extend their winning streak to three games when the Wagner Seahawks come to Lynchburg on Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest.