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Lacrosse: Fall Recap

November 10, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Sophomore midfielder Chloe McIntosh is one of three captains on Liberty's new lacrosse team.

Sophomore midfielder Chloe McIntosh is one of three captains on Liberty's new lacrosse team.

Like any collegiate athletics program, Liberty Athletics seeks to establish and build upon a tradition of excellence. Since the fall 2007 athletics season, the Flames and Lady Flames have garnered 16 Big South titles, achieving championship success on the gridiron, hardwood, quarter-mile oval and cross country trails. This spring, a new tradition will begin at Liberty as the Lady Flames lacrosse team takes the field for its inaugural season.

Led by head coach Regan Denham, Liberty's newest NCAA Division I squad held tryouts Sept. 9-11 and began practicing Sept. 16. During the near two-month span, the team has worked hard in offseason strength and conditioning, with workouts consisting of elements such as pulling sleds and tires, running stadium steps, weight training and Pilates.

The team's current roster features six athletes who transitioned from Liberty's club program – junior defenseman Kathryn Campbell, sophomore attacker Sierra Clearwater, sophomore midfielder Amanda Hornick, senior attacker Rebekah Luetters, junior midfielder Laura Miller and senior attacker Karen Yates. The on-field leaders who will suit up as the program's inaugural team captains are Yates, sophomore midfielder Chloe McIntosh and sophomore attacker Kristin Crowley, a transfer from St. Bonaventure.

After three weeks of intra-squad practicing, the Lady Flames received their first taste of collegiate play in a scrimmage against Radford on Oct. 4. Freshman goalie Blaire Barnhart demonstrated solid play in the net with a 62 percent save percentage, stopping 8-of-13 shots from the Lady Highlanders. Liberty also showcased its potential at the opposite end of the field, with multiple players contributing to the offensive attack. Leading the way for the Lady Flames offense was freshman midfielder Lauren See, who recorded five goals on the day.

On Oct. 24, Liberty traveled to Farmville, Va., facing off with Longwood. The Lancers' aggressive play tested the Liberty defense and provided a sneak peek at a fellow member of the National Lacrosse Conference (NLC). Along with Liberty and Longwood, the NLC consists of five other programs – Davidson, Detroit-Mercy, Howard, Jacksonville and Presbyterian. This past season, the Lancers claimed the inaugural conference crown, defeating Detroit-Mercy, 19-8 in the championship match. Liberty is slated to make its return to the home of the conference champions for its season opener, March 3.

In addition to practices, scrimmaging and strength and conditioning, Liberty's newest group of Lady Flames is also coming together as a family, understanding its role as the program's first class. The theme for the 2010 season is "Building Tradition." Throughout the offseason, Denham has stressed the importance of being the first lacrosse team to take the field at Liberty.

Check back with LibertyFlames.com for the latest in women's lacrosse heading into the start of the 2010 season. The coming weeks will feature video interviews with Liberty's team captains as well as a breakdown of the 2010 schedule.