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Walborn and Menez Pace Liberty in 16-13 Win
Guided by stellar performances from Karis Walborn and Audra Menez, the Liberty lacrosse team concluded the 2011 season with a win, Saturday morning at Richardson Stadium, defeating Howard on Day 2 of the 2011 National Lacrosse Conference Tournament, 16-13.
After ending the 2010 season with a 17-11 loss to the Bison (May 1, 2010), the Lady Flames finish 2011 on a positive note, moving to 3-1 in the all-time series against Howard.
Liberty wraps up its second season with a 7-11 record, improving from a 1-13 mark in its inaugural year. Howard rounds out the 2011 campaign with a 4-13 record.
Walborn led the Lady Flames attack with six goals and four ground balls, while Menez finished with four tallies. Both players chipped in three assists in the game, allowing the tandem to combine for 10 of Liberty's 16 goals and six of the Lady Flames 10 assists.
Courtland Lackey and Desiree Cox paced Howard with five goals, apiece.
Walborn's six goals ties teammate Nina Dunay for most goals by a Liberty player in a single game. The magic number also set a new Liberty record for most goals in an NLC Tournament contest, surpassing Sierra Clearwater's five markers, which she garnered against the Bison in last year's season finale.
Already owning Liberty's single-season scoring record, Walborn finishes the year with 40 goals, while Menez's 15 helpers sets the Lady Flames' single-season assist standard.
Menez kick started the Liberty offense, receiving a pass from Walborn and finishing on the play for the Lady Flames' first goal at 28:57. The tandem flip flopped for the second marker 18 ticks later, as Menez fed Walborn inside for the tally.
Menez and Walborn continued their camaraderie at 27:07, capping off the Lady Flames 3-0 run. Once again, Walborn found an open Menez, who fired a shot past the Howard goalkeeper for her second goal of the contest.
Following a Bison goal, Walborn matched Menez, posting her second tally on the day with an unassisted goal at 21:11. Howard then answered with two markers from Courtland Lackey and Desiree Cox, respectively, to close the gap at 16:57, 4-3.
Walborn completed her hat trick at 15:11, courtesy of an assist by Annessa Jamison. Parsons followed up with back-to-back markers over the next 2:08 to give Liberty a four-goal lead. The midfielder's second tally came off an Emily Dinsmore assist, making it 7-3, Lady Flames.
Lackey cut the Liberty lead back to three with an eight-meter marker at 13:24. Two minutes later, Jen Freymond increased the bulge back to four with an unassisted goal. Menez posted her second-career hat trick 8:51, maneuvering past the Bison defense for her 15th tally of the year.
After eight and a half minutes of scoreless action, Jen Moyer belted a low shot into the Bison net with just 22 ticks left in period to give Liberty a 10-4 advantage at halftime.
At the start of the second period, Walborn and Menez rekindled their on-field friendship in the opening 37 seconds, as Menez assisted Walborn for her fourth goal of the game. Howard countered with two-straight goals to reduce the Liberty advantage to five. Moyer prevented the Bison from recording their third consecutive goal, finding the net at 22:49 to make it 12-6.
Howard looked to mount a comeback over the ensuing seven minutes, receiving two goals from Lackey and one from Cox during the span. Lackey cemented the burst with an unassisted goal at 15:51 to cut the Lady Flames' edge to three, 12-9.
Crowley lit up the board for the Flames five minutes later after a near 10-minute scoring drought. Walborn fed a pass to Crowley, who placed the shot past goalkeeper Amber Meeks for her 31st goal on the year.
Cox continued to dwindle Liberty's lead, netting back-to-back goals to put Howard within, two. The Lady Flames responded with a pair of tallies from Walborn and Menez to increase the lead back to four. Menez's goal off a Freymond assist made it 15-11 with 7:50 remaining.
Following two Howard goals, Walborn and Menez connected one final time to seal the Liberty victory. Menez picked up her third assist of the contest, giving Walborn her sixth goal on the day en route to the 16-13 win.
Liberty outshot the Bison 36-25 and won the battle for ground balls, 24-19. Kristen Masullo played the opening 52:10 in goal for the Lady Flames, making six saves. Blaire Barnhart came in for the final 7:50, finishing with one save. Meeks protected the Bison net the entire 60 minutes, recording 13 saves.