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Liberty Drops Tight Decision at La Salle, 11-10
It was a tale of two halves between the Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team and the La Salle Explorers on Saturday afternoon at McCarthy Stadium. La Salle used an 8-0 run in the second half to overcome a six-goal deficit and defeat the visiting Lady Flames, 11-10.
Liberty drops its fourth contest in a row to fall to 1-7 on the season. La Salle halts a three-match losing streak and improves to 4-3 overall.
The Lady Flames' offense was clicking on all cylinders during the first half. Liberty jumped out to a 4-0 lead 10:25 into the contest. Morgan Becker scored a pair of goals during the run, the first of which was set up by a Kallie Britton assist. Nina Dunay and Sam Struss chipped in a goal apiece during the early four-goal spurt.
After the Explorers got on the scoreboard with 18 minutes showing on the first half game clock, the Lady Flames responded with two more scores. Dunay and Struss each tallied their second goals of the game to put the visitors on top, 6-1, at the 8:22 mark.
A pair of La Salle goals pulled the home team within three at 6-3, but Liberty answered with two more goals to take an 8-3 advantage into the halftime break. Kelly Belue notched a free-position goal, before Britton made a difficult shot while falling to the turf with 16 ticks left in the opening stanza.
The Lady Flames struck first in the contest's final period. Courtney Brown bounced a free-position shot between the legs of the Explorers' goalkeeper, extending Liberty's lead to 9-3 with 3:37 elapsed in the second half.
The remainder of the game was dominated by La Salle. The Explorers tallied eight consecutive goals to take an 11-9 lead with 9:32 left in the contest. Toni Massetti scored all of her game-high five goals during the 8-0 run.
Liberty appeared to pull within a goal with 4:30 showing on the game clock, but a would-be score by Struss was wiped off after a stick check revealed an illegal pocket in the stick.
With under two minutes remaining, the Lady Flames' Michaela Rich caused a turnover deep in the Explorers' end of the field. The freshman scooped up the ground ball and in one motion whipped it into the goal to make the score 11-10 in favor of La Salle.
Liberty secured the following draw control but was unable to notch the equalizer as the Explorers held on for the 11-10 victory.
For the contest, La Salle held the advantage in shots, 27-24, draw controls, 15-9, and caused turnovers, 7-5. Liberty tallied 20 ground balls to the Explorers' 19.
Becker secured a game-high six draw controls, in addition to her two goals. Brown matched her career high with four ground balls to lead both teams and tied La Salle's Katie Marasco for a game-high two caused turnovers.
In between the pipes, Liberty's Kristen Masullo tallied 11 saves in 60 minutes of action. Gabby Antonelli played 40:25 in goal for the Explorers, stopping five shots.
The Lady Flames trek to the opposite side of Pennsylvania for their next contest on March 22, facing Robert Morris at 3 p.m.