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Lady Flames Withstand Late Wagner Rally to Win, 12-11
The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team withstood a furious second half comeback attempt from the visiting Wagner Seahawks to win its third consecutive game, 12-11, on Sunday afternoon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
With the win, Liberty improves to 4-2 for the first time in program history. Wagner, who entered the game riding its best five-game start since the 2001 season, falls to 4-2 with the loss. The Lady Flames three-game winning streak equals the program record set during the 2011 campaign. The four total victories already eclipses last season's total of three wins.
After Wagner opened the contest with a goal from Stephanie Peterson at the 26:25 mark of the first half, Liberty reeled off three consecutive goals to move ahead 3-1.
Morgan Becker began the scoring for the Lady Flames, notching her 12th goal of the season less than one minute after Peterson's tally to knot the game.
Liberty took the lead when freshman Kallie Britton assisted on Sam Struss' sixth goal of the season. Britton recorded another assist on the Lady Flames next score, finding Nina Dunay for her 12th tally of the year, and a 3-1 advantage for the home team.
The Seahawks responded with a 3-0 run of their own to retake the lead, 4-3, with 14 minutes elapsed in the opening stanza.
The trend of 3-0 runs continued. Liberty went on its second run of the contest, beginning with a Kacie Fogle goal with 14:36 remaining in the first half to even the score at four apiece.
Britton notched the next two goals of the contest to help push the Lady Flames advantage to 6-4 with just over 10 minutes left until halftime.
The remaining 5:38 of the first half saw each team score twice. Dunay recorded her second marker of the contest, before Candice Parsons found the back of the net for the third time this season for Liberty. Annie O'Connor tallied both goals to conclude the half for Wagner, making the halftime score 8-6 in favor of the Lady Flames.
The Lady Flames extended their lead to five, at 11-6, with three consecutive goals to begin the second half. Becker fired the ball between the pipes for the second time on the afternoon, before Dunay scored her team-leading 14th goal of the season. Jen Freymond concluded the 3-0 run with her ninth goal of the year at the 22:18 mark of the final stanza.
Wagner trimmed the lead to four, after a goal from Jessica Mills, but the Lady Flames' quickly pushed their advantage back to five, when Fogle scored her second goal of the afternoon less than two minutes later.
The Seahawks concluded the contest with four unanswered goals, but it was not enough as Liberty held on for the 12-11 victory.
Liberty held the overall advantage in shots, 27-23, while Wagner held the edge in ground balls, 22-19, and caused turnovers, 16-12. The Lady Flames were successful on 10 of 16 clear attempts, compared to 13 of 19 successful clears for the Seahawks.
Liberty gained 18 draw controls, including the final draw with 21 seconds left in the game to seal the victory. Wagner finished the contest with seven draw controls.
Kristen Masullo recorded seven saves in between the pipes for Liberty, while Wagner goalie Katie Ferraro notched eight stops.
Next up, the Lady Flames will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to face the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.