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Liberty Lax Opens Home Schedule Friday Against Elon

February 20, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Jen Moyer

After a challenging three-game road stretch to open the season, the Liberty lacrosse team returns to the Hill City for its 2014 home opener on Friday against Elon. First draw against the Phoenix is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Liberty Lacrosse Field.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats and live video will be available for tomorrow's game on LibertyFlames.com by clicking on the live stats and live video links on the lacrosse schedule/results page. The video stream is free through the Big South Network. Fans can also follow the game through periodic Twitter updates from @LUGameday and @libertywlax.

Liberty in Home Openers
The Lady Flames are seeking their first victory in a home opener since their inaugural season of 2010. In 2010, Liberty defeated Howard, 17-16, in overtime for its first win in program history. Last season, the Lady Flames fell to Navy, 15-7, on a snowy day in Lynchburg.

Last Time Out
Playing its first ranked team since the 2012 home opener against No. 3 North Carolina, Liberty traveled to challenge No. 19/12 Navy on Tuesday. The Midshipmen's high-powered offensive attack proved to be too much as the Lady Flames fell, 19-3.

Sam Struss, Morgan Becker and Nina Dunay each notched a goal for Liberty. In addition to her goal, Dunay led the Lady Flames 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. Kristen Masullo and Kristin Boland split time in between the pipes for Liberty, with Masullo tallying nine saves and Boland three stops.

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.

Previewing the Lady Flames
Liberty (0-3) enters Friday's contest against first-year program Elon looking for its first win of the season after dropping a trio of difficult road games. The Lady Flames will play three out of their next four matches at the friendly confines of Liberty Lacrosse Field. Last season, Liberty posted a 4-5 home record. The Lady Flames faced five teams in 2013 which were playing in their inaugural season of lacrosse, posting a perfect 5-0 record.

Offensively, the Lady Flames' attack is led by junior Sam Struss, who has scored six goals on just eight shots. Kallie Britton ranks second on the squad in points with four, on three goals and one assist. The sophomore has a team-best seven ground balls. Another sophomore, Alyssa Kidder, tops the team with a pair of assists. Morgan Becker's 14 draw controls is first on the squad, while Nina Dunay has a team-high four caused turnovers.

Kristen Masullo has started each of the first three games in goal for Liberty. The senior has recorded 28 saves for a save percentage of .364. Masullo is surrendering an average of 19.86 goals per contest.

Previewing the Phoenix
Elon (0-1) will be playing its first game since dropping its first-ever contest on Feb. 7 against No. 6 Duke, 25-4. The Phoenix were scheduled to play Longwood this past Friday, but the contest was postponed due to weather. Elon's roster features a very young roster of 18 freshmen, two sophomores and just two upperclassmen.

A quartet of Phoenix scored a goal each against the Blue Devils. Sydney Hesselbein snagged three draw controls to lead the team, while Olivia Fernandez and Kelli Stack scooped up a pair of ground balls each. Rachel Ramirez played all 60 minutes in between the pipes for Elon, notching five saves.

Looking Ahead
The Lady Flames return to the road for a midweek tilt at George Washington on Wednesday. The contest is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.