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Liberty Upended on the Road at No. 19/12 Navy
The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team travelled to the Naval Academy on Tuesday looking for an upset of No. 19/12 Navy. The Midshipmen's high-powered offensive attack proved to be too much, as Liberty fell by a final score of 19-3 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Flames fall to 0-3 after playing their first three contests away from Lynchburg. Navy improves to 3-0, with each of its three wins coming against Big South opponents.
The Mids' offense applied heavy pressure to the Liberty defensive unit in the opening minutes of the first half. Goalkeeper Kristen Masullo turned away multiple shots, but the home team was able to convert on two attempts to take the early 2-0 lead with just over six minutes elapsed.
The Lady Flames cut the Midshipmen lead in half at the 22:26 mark of the opening stanza. Alyssa Kidder fed a pass to a cutting Morgan Becker in front of the goal crease. Becker caught the pass and in one motion fired it into the cage for her second score of the season.
The remainder of the first half was all Navy, as the home team notched 12 more goals to take a 13-1 advantage into the halftime break. Loren Generi recorded three goals and five assists, while Aimee Gennaro chipped in with three markers of her own to lead the Mids in the first half.
Liberty notched six shots, six ground balls and six draw controls in the opening stanza. The Lady Flames had one more free-position attempt than Navy in the first half, but weren't able to convert on either attempt.
The Mids increased their lead to 17-1 with four more goals to open the second half.
Sam Struss ended Liberty's scoring drought with her sixth goal of the season. The junior converted on a free-position attempt with 10:25 showing on the game clock.
After a Navy score at 4:27, Nina Dunay tallied the Lady Flames' final score of the afternoon with just under a minute remaining. A Midshipmen turnover led to a breakaway attempt for the Liberty senior. Dunay outran the Navy defense and fired a shot back across her body into the goal for her second marker of the year.
A Navy goal with 11 seconds remaining made the final score 19-3 in favor of the home team.
The Lady Flames matched the Mids in draw controls for the contest, with 12 each. Navy held the statistical edge in shots, 42-11, ground balls, 23-13, clears, 10-4, and caused turnovers, 11-5.
In addition to her goal, Dunay led Liberty with three caused turnovers and tied Becker for the team lead in draw controls with four. Meghan Hammond notched a team-high three ground balls.
Masullo and Kristin Boland split time in between the pipes for Liberty, with Masullo tallying nine saves and Boland three stops.
Gennaro finished with a game-high four goals, while Generi recorded three goals and six assists to lead the Midshipmen. Annie Foky garnered the win in goal for Navy, recording four saves in 50:36 of action.
After playing their first three games on the road, the Lady Flames will open the home portion of their schedule on Friday against Elon. First draw against the Phoenix is slated for 5 p.m. at Liberty Lacrosse Field.