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Liberty's Second-Half Rally Falls Short in 10-9 Loss at Robert Morris

March 22, 2014
|  Moon Township, Pa.
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Nina Dunay tallied three goals and an assist versus Robert Morris to become Liberty's all-time leader in points with 116.

Trailing 10-4 in the second half, Liberty mounted a furious comeback only to fall just short as Robert Morris held on for a 10-9 victory over the Lady Flames on Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium. In the loss, Liberty's Nina Dunay tallied four points to become the program's all-time leader in points with 116, passing Kristen Crowley's old mark of 114.

The Lady Flames' fifth setback in a row drops their overall record to 1-8 for the season. Liberty's last three losses have come by a mere four goals combined. With the win, the Colonials improve to 6-1 on the year.

Robert Morris jumped on the visiting Lady Flames quickly, scoring four goals in the opening 6:46 of the contest. Corey Karwacki tallied two goals during the 4-0 spurt.

Morgan Becker put Liberty on the scoreboard with her 11th goal of the season at the 22:49 mark, pulling the Lady Flames within three, at 4-1.

After a Robert Morris goal at 17:01, Liberty once again climbed to within three on Sam Struss' first of two scores for the game. Struss' marker came with 16:36 remaining until halftime.

The Colonials extended their advantage to 7-2 with 13:25 left in the first half with a pair of goals by Kristin Yoviene.

The Lady Flames closed the half strong, tallying two more scores before the break. Dunay and Michaela Rich each recorded free-position goals, sending the contest into the intermission with Liberty trailing, 7-4.

Just like they did in the first half, the Colonials came out strong to open the second stanza. Robert Morris added three more scores to go on top 10-4 with 24:54 showing on the game clock.

Beginning at the 21:09 mark, the Lady Flames' offense began to heat up. Dunay notched her second goal of the game, tying her with Crowley for the most points in program history. Dunay moved past Crowley on Liberty's next goal, registering an assist on Rich's second marker of the game and ninth of the season.

Dunay tallied her third goal of the contest and 14th of the year at 16:38, pulling the Lady Flames to within three at 10-7. Struss followed with her team-leading 22nd goal of the season, before assisting Courtney Brown on Liberty's ninth goal of the game with 14:00 left in the final half.

The remainder of the contest proved to be a defensive battle. The Lady Flames' offense recorded four more shots and the defense held the Colonials scoreless, but Liberty was unable to notch the equalizer as the Colonials held on for the 10-9 victory. 

For the game, Robert Morris held the advantage in shots, 25-24, draw controls, 13-8, and caused turnovers, 9-7. Liberty registered 14 ground balls to Robert Morris' 13.

Yoviene finished with a game-high four goals, while Corey Karwacki had a contest-best three assists. Jessica Karwacki, the nation's leader in draw controls, finished the game with 11 draw controls, three below her season average. Becker and Jessica Karwacki each had three ground balls, while Struss and Corey Karwacki caused two turnovers apiece.

In goal, the Lady Flames' Kristen Masullo had another strong game, registering seven saves, including several key stops which allowed Liberty to get back in the contest in the second half. The Colonials' Kaitlin Pentz notched eight saves en route to the victory.

Liberty will have an 11-day layoff before returning to the field on April 2 at Virginia Tech for its final nonconference match of the season. First draw against the Hokies is slated for 4 p.m.