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NLC Games Close Lady Flames' Home Slate
A pair of National Lacrosse Conference matchups this weekend will conclude Liberty lacrosse's 2012 home slate. The Lady Flames host Jacksonville at 7 p.m., Friday, before finishing their first season on the Liberty Lacrosse Field at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon against Presbyterian College. Sunday's game serves not only as Senior Day, but also plays a part in the conference's National Cancer Awareness week.
"It is great that all the coaches in the league wanted to get together and participate in such a great cause," said NLC Commissioner Steve Corder. "The weekend is a great opportunity to raise money and help a lot of local charities in the fight against cancer and it really shows what collegiate sports is all about."
Liberty will help the conference's cause by wearing cancer awareness t-shirts while warming up on Sunday. An informational booth will also be set up as a part of the cause.
Liberty has had nearly a two-week break from competition, following its opening NLC game against Detroit on March 31. The Lady Flames were scheduled to face Howard on April 1, but the host Bison cancelled the contest, resulting in a forfeit win in the conference standings. Liberty is 2-8 overall this season and 1-1 in the NLC.
Morgan Becker and Kristin Crowley lead the Lady Flames with 31 points apiece. Crowley has found the back of the net 27 times, while chipping in four assists. Becker has notched 24 goals and added seven assists. Becker leads the team in shot percentage, converting at a .774 clip.
On the other side of the field, senior co-captain Chloe McIntosh and Jen Freymond have led the Lady Flames' defensive efforts. McIntosh has grabbed 21 ground balls this season, while Freymond leads the team with 33, and ranks third in the country by scooping up 3.3 ground balls per game.
Between the pipes, sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Masullo continues to rank high nationally in goalie statistics. While she has fallen back to 10th in total saves (115) due to in activity the last two weeks, she remains second in the nation in saves per game, at 11.5.
Jacksonville will bring an 8-3 overall record and a 2-1 NLC mark to the Hill City, for Liberty's first game under the lights this season. The Dolphins have alternated wins and losses in their last four contests, after winning six consecutive games at home.
The Dolphins boast the second highest scoring offense in the nation (16.55 goals per game), being bested only by nationally ranked Florida (17.27), who defeated Jacksonville early in the year. Nine different Dolphins have scored at least 10 goals. Morgan Derner leads the way with 26 scores, despite only playing in seven of the team's 11 games. Ali Hoffman and Jen Cosgrove are next, each netting 22 goals on the year.
Junior Karli Tobin has started all 11 games in net for Jacksonville. The keeper has saved 77 shots at a .405 clip, while allowing 11.5 goals per game.
On Sunday, the Lady Flames wrap up their home slate by hosting Presbyterian College at 1 p.m. The Blue Hose are currently 1-11, having lost their last nine games. Their sole win came by a 19-16 margin against Regis. They currently stand winless, 0-2, in conference play, and will face off with Longwood, Friday, before taking on Liberty.
Catherine Ellis leads the team in goals (27) and draw controls (32), while Kirstin Stenoien and Lauren Lefeber have added support, scoring 19 and 12 goals, respectively.
Three different keepers have seen considerable time in goal. Susan England and Samantha Arey have combined to start 11 of the team's 12 games. England has seen the most action, logging over 373 minutes of game time. She owns a goals-against average of 17.85, while making 63 saves on the year.
Live stats will be available for both games, while Liberty's home final will feature a live feed, streaming through the Big South network. Fans may watch the action by paying a minimal fee for the coverage.