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Dunay Nets Five; Lacrosse Wins Season Opener

March 1, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Co-Captain Kristin Crowley chipped in with one goal and one assist in the Lady Flames 11-10 victory over St. Francis, Pa., Tuesday afternoon.

The Liberty women's lacrosse team used a nine-goal first half on its way to an 11-10 defeat of St. Francis, Pa., on Tuesday afternoon at Osborne Stadium in its season-opening home contest. The win gives head coach Regan Denham's squad a 1-0 record, equaling their total from last year in their inaugural season.

Freshman Nina Dunay proved to be a formidable offensive threat in her first collegiate contest, as the Ashburn, Va., native found the back of the net on five occasions, while also assisting on two more Liberty goals. Fellow freshmen Karis Walborn, Emily Dinsmore and Jen Moyer also were able to tally a score in their first collegiate game. Walborn notched two goals, while Dinsmore and Moyer each added one. Returners Kristin Crowley and Candice Parsons rounded out the Flames attack, each scoring one goal.

After nearly seven minutes of defensive action, the visiting St. Francis Red Flash (0-2) earned a 1-0 lead with a goal from Sheri Fort at the 23:23 mark. However, the Lady Flames responded quickly and often, netting three goals in less than two minutes of game action, all coming on transition plays.

Dunay picked up her first goal with 22:58 remaining, on an unassisted play. Shortly after, at the 21:54 mark, Dinsmore shot one past the St. Francis goalkeeper with Dunay providing the assist. Immediately after the ensuing draw control, Dunay broke down the field to score a goal, giving the Lady Flames a 3-1 edge with 21:54 on the clock.

The Red Flash's returning leading scorer, Kate Simmons, halted the Flames run with a goal at the 21:02 mark on an assist from Kara Ledgerwood. St. Francis then rolled off two more goals at the 19:40 and 17:37 marks of the first period to take the lead, 4-3.

Liberty then owned the remainder of the first half, scorching the net for six of the final seven goals of the opening 30 minutes of action.

Moyer and Dunay scored unassisted goals (17:11 and 16:44) to start five-consecutive goals from the home team, and give Liberty the lead once again, 5-4. Dunay added her fourth goal of the first half after being set up by Annessa Jamison with 14:26 remaining, while Crowley then assisted Walborn for her goal at the 10:00 mark.

Jamison tacked on her second assist of the game, providing Parsons with the set up this time, to give Liberty an 8-4 advantage with 9:24 left in the opening half.

After a stretch of no scoring, Simmons once again stopped the Lady Flames' run, pulling St. Francis within three at the 2:32 mark with her second goal of the day.

Walborn closed out the first-half scoring by extending the lead back to four, hitting the back of the net with 2:16 on the clock and allowing Liberty to take the 9-5 advantage into the locker room.

Despite being outshot 19-15 in the first half, Liberty found the net on more occasions. Kristen Masullo assisted the Flames effort in goal, as the freshman saved nine shots in the opening 30 minutes of action.

The Red Flash paced the opening ten minutes of the second half, scoring three goals. Simmons scored two of those for the visitors, with her last coming at the 19:24 mark in the game and edging St. Francis within one, 9-8.

Co-captain Crowley stopped the charge, however, netting her own goal at the 12:34 mark on an unassisted play and up the lead to two.

St. Francis added one more offensive attack, netting back-to-back goals just ten seconds apart. The first came at 12:19 when Danielle Cornwell scored, while Fort added her second of the game at 12:09, tying the contest at 10-all.

Dunay would have the last say for the Lady Flames, however, tacking on the final goal of the game at the 5:32 mark on a free position shot.

Masullo once again played tough in the closing minutes saving three shots in the final five minutes of the game, and tallying nine more in the half. Masullo denied 18 Red Flash shots on the afternoon to pick up her first collegiate victory. The Berkely Heights, N.J., native picked up 10 groundballs while in goal as well.

Danielle Pokuso blocked away 15 shots and picked up 11 groundballs in the game for the visitors in the defeat, dropping her to 0-2 on the season.

Aside from Jamison's two assists, the junior led the team with three caused turnovers. Co-captain Chloe McIntosh, Dunay and Cammille Little each picked up three groundballs on the afternoon.

The Lady Flames will get comfortable at home this season, as the team hosts nine contests in Lynchburg for their 2011 campaign. They hit the field at Osborne Stadium once again on Sunday, when Monmouth comes to town for a 1 p.m. contest.