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Lacrosse Begins Three-Game Road Swing in Jacksonville
After finishing 3-1 in a four-game homestand, the Liberty women's lacrosse team is loading up the bus for a three-game road trip.
The Lady Flames (4-4, 2-0 NLC) will make their first stop on Friday in Jacksonville, Fla., to take on fellow 2-0 NLC member Jacksonville. The opening draw at D.B. Milne Field is set for 4 p.m.
Liberty will then leave the Sunshine State and venture to Clinton, S.C. on Sunday to take on Presbyterian College at 3 p.m. The Lady Flames remain in the Palmetto State for their final contest of the road swing, as they face Erskine next Tuesday. The matchup in Due West, S.C. is slated for 2 p.m.
Live stats will be available for Sunday's game at Presbyterian College on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's lacrosse schedule/results page. Fans may also access live stats on the schedule panel of the web site's home page. Live stats will be provided by the Presbyterian College media relations office.
Looking to extend its win streak to four games, the Liberty women's lacrosse team faced one of its toughest challenges in program history, hosting ACC member, Virginia Tech, Tuesday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, the Hokies' aggressive offense put the visitors ahead early en route to an 18-2 win in their first visit to Osborne Stadium.
Liberty fell to 4-4 on the season, while the Hokies improved to 8-4 on the year. The Lady Flames' loss closed out their four-game homestand at 3-1.
A Look at the Lady Flames
Nina Dunay and Karis Walborn lead the Lady Flames this season with 21 goals apiece. Dunay is also paving the way for Liberty in assists (6) and draw controls (15). On the defensive end, Jen Freymond is the team's leader in ground balls (19) and caused turnovers (7). Kristen Masullo has started all eight contests in goal for Liberty and has made 103 saves (.526) on the season.
According to the latest NCAA statistical rankings Dunay is 10th in the country in goals per game, while Walborn is 32nd in the category. Masullo is tops in the nation in both saves per game and save percentage. The freshman is also listed at No. 9 in total saves.
Liberty holds a shooting percentage of .471 through the first eight contests, finding the net on 88-of-187 attempts. The Lady Flames also have a team clear percentage of .714, infiltrating the offensive zone 90-of-126 times.
Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville enters Friday's contest with a 7-4 record overall and a 2-0 posting in National Lacrosse Conference play. The Dolphins are 6-2 at home overall, but 5-1 when playing at D.B. Milne Field, dropping their only contest at the facility to No. 11 Vanderbilt (12-9, March 5).
Jacksonville is currently on a three-game win streak, posting victories over Long Island (22-2, March 16) and NLC members High Point (17-10, March 25) and Davidson (13-9, March 27).
In the Dolphins' most recent contest against the Wildcats, Jacksonville's Sarah Michel led the team with three goals, while three other players finished with two apiece en route to the win.
Jacksonville is shooting .465 through 11 games, connecting on 146-of-314 shot attempts. The Dolphins have also found the back of the net with 33-of-68 (.485) shots taken from the free position. In terms of team clears, the Dolphins have been rather successful, reaching the offensive zone on 149-of-187 clear attempts (.837).
Morgan Derner leads the Dolphins with 29 goals, while Kaitlin Stewart is pacing the team in assists with eight. Defensively, goalkeeper Karli Tobin has started all 11 contests for Jacksonville, making 77 saves (.403 save percentage).
Liberty-Jacksonville Series Notes
Friday's contest marks the second meeting all-time between Liberty and Jacksonville, with the Dolphins taking the inaugural matchup last season, 19-2 (March 18, 2010). This year's clash will be the first time the two squads have met at D.B. Milne Field. The previous contest took place off campus at nearby McCormick Field due to the school hosting NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament first round games.
Scouting Presbyterian College
The Blue Hose are 3-8 overall in 2011 and 1-1 in the NLC. Prior to Presbyterian College's meeting with Liberty, the Blue Hose will host two-time defending NLC champion Longwood on Friday at 3 p.m. The Blue Hose are coming off a recent setback to Siena, falling to the Saints on March 26, 19-7.
Shannon Hartford leads PC with 18 goals on the season. A quartet of players currently have five assists on the year – Hartford, Katie Prisco, Laura Meade and Jaime Beamish. On the defensive end, Melinda Vasconcellos is the team's leader in caused turnovers, while Beamish is tops in ground balls with 24. Goalkeeper Susan England has started 9-of-11 contests for the Blue Hose, collecting 131 saves (.480 save percentage).
Heading into its meeting with Longwood, PC is shooting .385 (100-of-260) and has a team clear percentage of .661 (115-of-174).
Liberty-Presbyterian College Series Notes
Sunday's afternoon tilt is the second meeting all-time between the Lady Flames and the Blue Hose. Liberty is looking to bounce back at Old Bailey Stadium after falling to Presbyterian College last season, 17-13 (April 17, 2010).
Midway through the 2011 season, the Lady Flames and the Blue Hose have had five common opponents. Liberty is 2-3 against these squads, with wins over Fresno State (14-13) and Howard (19-9). Similarly, Presbyterian College is also 2-3 against the same group, posting a 19-9 win over the Bison on Feb. 26 and defeating Fresno State, 14-11, on March 24, two days after Liberty's victory over the Bulldogs.
Liberty caps off its three-game road trip next Tuesday in Due West, S.C., against Erskine. The opening draw for the first meeting between the Lady Flames and the Fleet is slated for 2 p.m.
The Lady Flames return to Osborne Stadium on April 10 at 1 p.m. to host fellow NLC member Davidson.