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A Passion For Success

March 6, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Allyson Fasnacht will play her final home game at the Vines Center, Friday at 7 p.m. versus Radford.

Allyson Fasnacht will play her final home game at the Vines Center, Friday at 7 p.m. versus Radford.

Story first appeared in Flames Illustrated, Feb. 16-March 7 issue

Records are made to be broken, but some are more difficult to break than others. As a junior in high school, Lady Flames senior guard Allyson Fasnacht hit a shot from the opposite free throw line, just before halftime in the Virginia state semifinals. The basket totaled approximately 81 feet, seven inches and made the Guinness Book of World Records for longest recorded field goal by a female.

"That's something she doesn't tell people, so we always do it for her," said junior Rebecca Lightfoot, Fasnacht's roommate.

The world record is not the only thing the senior fails to mention about herself. Both Lightfoot and Liberty head coach Carey Green assert Fasnacht is an excellent leader on the court—someone who not only listens, but knows how to confront others as well.

Fasnacht has possessed the quality of leadership for a long time. At Glenvar High School, she was one of the top scorers on her team, averaging 24 points per game her senior year. Before arriving at Liberty, Fasnacht accumulated numerous honors and was named to the Virginia all-state team three consecutive years.

Once she made the trip from her hometown of Salem, Va., to Lynchburg, Fasnacht had to adjust quickly to her new role on the Lady Flames basketball team. As a freshman, Fasnacht learned from seniors such as Katie Feenstra, Daina Staugaitiene and Kristal Tharp. That year, Liberty made it to the NCAA tournament and eventually reached the Sweet 16.

During the first round against Penn State, Fasnacht found herself on a court full of seniors and was not expected to make a significant impact. The point guard took advantage of her low profile and proceeded to drop 18 points in a 78-70 victory over the Lady Lions.

"There was really no pressure on me," remembered Fasnacht. "I wasn't really expected to do a whole lot. Coming in, I think I was averaging five points per game. I knew they weren't going to be focused on me."

The following year, Fasnacht did anything but fly under the radar. With the Lady Flames left with zero seniors on the team, Liberty's floor general saw an opportunity to step up and take the reins on the floor. As a sophomore, Fasnacht earned the honor of Most Valuable Player in the Big South Championship.

"Being one who played a lot of minutes and had the experience of being in the Sweet 16, knowing what it was like and what it took to get there, I had to step into that role whether I was ready or not," explained Fasnacht.

Throughout her career at Liberty, Fasnacht has become someone the Lady Flames can depend on, night after night. With her final season coming to a close, the senior has only missed three games since arriving at Liberty.

"Over her four-year career, she has earned playing time in every game," stated Green. "Her track record will show that she has played in every game and started in every game, unless she was hindered by injuries."

The injuries Green referred to occurred during Fasnacht's sophomore and junior campaigns. The guard began experiencing pains in her back during the 2005-06 season. The training staff soon diagnosed the injury as a tight hip flexor.

"Once we figured that out, we just did some treatment and some physical therapy to loosen it up," recalled Fasnacht. "Since then, I really haven't had any trouble at all."

While the pain in her back ceased, another injury occurred at the start of Fasnacht's junior year. During just her second practice of the season, the point guard rolled her ankle, sidelining her for the majority of the preseason.

"It took a little while to get back in shape," said Fasnacht. "It kind of hindered me a little bit last year, not being at full strength when the season started."

With a little help from the Lady Flames' training staff, Fasnacht's minor injuries have failed to slow her down. Despite having to battle physical ailments in the past, the senior has provided Liberty with clutch plays during some of the team's most intense moments.

As time began to expire in the 2006 Big South Championship game, Fasnacht nailed a 13-foot jumper to lead the Lady Flames to a 53-50 victory over High Point. The win allowed Fasnacht and her team to once again make the journey to the NCAA Tournament.

This season, the Lady Flames traveled to Las Vegas, where Fasnacht again performed well under pressure. During the final 32 seconds of the Lady Rebel Christmas Classic, Liberty's senior guard went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, giving the Lady Flames a narrow 70-68 win over host UNLV.

Free throw shooting has been a strength of Facsnacht's game throughout her career. Last season, she led the Big South in free throw percentage during conference games, shooting at an .816 clip. The previous year, Fasnacht finished second in the conference with a percentage of .809.

So far this season Fasnacht continues to knock down free throws, especially during crucial moments. In fact, the senior has gone 16-19 from the line in the final minute of games.

The hardwood is not the only place Fasnacht has achieved success. She also excels in the classroom and has made the Dean's List on numerous occasions. The studious guard has also been a member of both the ESPN The Magazine Academic all-district team and Big South All-Academic team over the course of her basketball career.

"I've picked a major I really enjoy and am passionate about," noted Fasnacht. "I don't mind studying and writing papers for that."

Although she is listed as a senior athletically, Fasnacht no longer carries the same title academically. After graduating in December with a bachelor's degree in sport management, she is currently seeking a master's degree in business administration (MBA). After graduate school, Fasnacht hopes to transfer her leadership skills from the court to the sidelines and coach other players with a passion for the game. According to Green, Fasnacht already possess the traits needed to instruct others.

"She is the one who directs traffic and coaches on the floor," explained Green. "I think it sort of comes naturally from the point guard position, but even if she was a two guard I think she would be directing traffic."

Ultimately, the Liberty alum wants to one day work in the front office of a professional basketball or baseball organization. Whether she ends up hiring free agents or helping young players improve their jump shot remains to be seen. Although her future endeavors are uncertain, Fasnacht will approach every challenge with the same discipline and determination she has possessed throughout her basketball career.
Eric Brown is an intern in the athletics media relations office for Liberty University and serves as the sports editor for the Liberty Champion.