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Liberty Downed on the Road by High Point, 15-8
In a matchup with Big South Conference leader High Point, the Liberty Lady Flames fell 15-8 to the Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Vert Stadium.
The loss drops Liberty to 6-8 (2-2 Big South) on the season. High Point improves to 6-6 overall on the season and remains undefeated in Big South games at 4-0.
The Panthers controlled the opening minutes of the contest, scoring a trio of goals to take an early 3-0 advantage. Liberty responded with back-to-back goals a mere 44 seconds apart from each other. Sam Struss put the Lady Flames on the scoreboard with her 13th goal of the season, before freshman Kallie Britton tallied her first goal of the day to pull Liberty within one, at 3-2, with 16:58 remaining in the opening half.
High Point's Grace Gaeng pushed the Panthers back ahead by two at the 16:38 mark of the first stanza with her 16th goal of the year.
With 8:44 remaining until halftime, Liberty's Candice Parsons weaved her way through the Panthers' defense and fired a shot past goalie Anna Wallingford to trim the High Point advantage to one at 4-3. Jen Moyer controlled the ensuing draw for the Lady Flames and finished the possession with her fourth goal of the year to knot the contest at four with 6:28 showing on the clock.
High Point closed the first half on a 3-0 run to take a 7-4 lead into the break. Alec Perry, Kendyl Gardner and Emily Meier notched the tallies for the Panthers.
High Point increased its edge to six at 10-4, with three quick goals to open the second half. The Lady Flames' Jen Freymond ended the Panthers' scoring run, with her 18th marker of the season with 9:25 expired in the final half. Morgan Becker followed Freymond's goal with her 22nd marker of the year, pulling Liberty within four once again with 17:47 remaining in the contest.
The Panthers added to their lead, scoring five consecutive goals, the last of which came with 12:18 left in the final half to go on top by nine, 15-6.
With 10:44 showing on the game clock, Britton received a pass from Freymond in front of the net and whipped her second goal of the game and 19th of the season past the stick of Wallingford. The Lady Flames' eighth and final tally of the contest came from Amber Nichols with 4:37 left in the match, making the final score 15-8 in favor of the Panthers.
On the day, High Point topped Liberty in shots (35-20), ground balls (21-14) and draw controls (18-7). The Lady Flames finished the game an efficient 14 of 16 in clear attempts, while High Point was successful on 13 of 17 attempts. Liberty finished the game with 11 caused turnovers to the Panthers' eight.
Kristen Masullo played the majority of the minutes in goal for Liberty, notching seven saves. Kristin Boland started the second half in between the pipes for the Lady Flames and recorded three saves in 14:37 of action. Wallingford and Julia Burns combined to make seven saves in goal for High Point.
The Lady Flames continue Big South action on Friday at Coastal Carolina and on Sunday at Winthrop. Friday's game against the Chanticleers is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., while the Winthrop match will start at 3 p.m.