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Offense Propels Jacksonville Past Liberty, 22-4
Jacksonville, who ranks No. 2 in the nation in both scoring offense and draw controls per game, proved its strength in both categories, Friday evening at Liberty Lacrosse Field, en route to a 22-4 win over the Lady Flames in National Lacrosse Conference action. Rachel Hannon grabbed 12 of the Dolphins' 19 draw controls, allowing the visitors to set up their offensive charge.
Liberty falls to 2-9 on the season, 1-2 in NLC play. Meanwhile, the Dolphins improve to 9-3 and 3-1 in conference action.
The Lady Flames' Kristen Masullo is credited with the loss, despite making 10 saves on the evening in 50:22 of game action. Freshman Kristin Boland closed the game in net, making three saves over the final 9:38. Karli Tobin's keeper record mirrors the team's 9-3 mark, as she logged 46:07 of playing time and made seven saves. Asia Moore closed the final 13:53 and made one save.
Liberty was led by sophomore co-captain Jen Moyer, who tallied a pair of goals in the Lady Flames' first night game of the season. Freshman Sam Struss and senior Kristin Crowley netted one goal apiece to round out Liberty's scoring. Crowley's score served as her program-leading 100th point of her career. Amber Nichols provided a pair of assists on the evening.
Jacksonville was led by Nikki Erdely, who found the back of the net on four occasions. A trio of Dolphins – Morgan Derner, Kayleigh Hynes and Kaitlin Stewart – each scored three goals, while six others got in on the scoring action. Ali Hoffman provided a game-high six assists, and four more Jacksonville goals were scored with a helping pass.
After nearly four minutes of scoreless action to open the game, Jacksonville's Stewart began the evening's scoring by converting on a free-position attempt. The Dolphins then jumped up 2-0, as Brittany Orashen scored at the 25:43 mark.
Liberty answered with a Struss goal, as the attacker cut through the left side of the Dolphins' defense after being fed by Nichols.
However, over the ensuing 10 minutes of action, the Dolphins reeled off nine straight goals to gain an 11-1 advantage. Derner scored two goals to bookend the span, which was capped off with 15:11 remaining in the opening half. Erdeley scored all four of her goals during the stretch, while Hoffman claimed assists on four of the nine tallies.
Liberty leading scorer Kristin Crowley cut the deficit back to single digits with her 28th goal of the year at 13:33, making the most of her free-position opportunity.
After nearly a five minute stretch with no markers, Amanda Hurley stretched the visitors' lead back to 10, 12-2, at the 8:40 mark.
Moyer pulled Liberty within nine once again with 5:06 left in the half, but the Dolphins closed the opening 30 minutes of play with two more goals to take a 14-3 cushion into the final stanza.
Jacksonville then reeled off the first two goals of the second period to build a 16-3 advantage. Both goals were assisted by Orashen.
Moyer added her second and final goal of the contest with help from Nichols with 25:12 left in the game, but it would be the last marker from the homestanding Lady Flames.
The Dolphins closed the final 20 minutes by tacking on six goals, to claim the 22-4 victory.
Jacksonville's 22 goals came on 41 shots, compared to just 14 for the Lady Flames. The visitors also held the ground ball advantage (23-13), led by a game-high four from Erdely. Liberty's Masullo led her team in groundballs from the goal as she picked up three groundballs in her area and caused one turnover. Liberty's Hillary Bullock posted a game-high three caused turnovers.
Liberty struggled to settle into its offense, converting on just 7-of-19 clears and making 24 turnovers. Jacksonville was 7-for-9 in clear attempts and made 17 turnovers for the game.
The Lady Flames, who are normally strong on free-position attempts, were just 1-for-5 to Jacksonville's 2-for-5.
Liberty will conclude its home slate for 2012 on Sunday, hosting NLC foe Presbyterian College at 1 p.m. The program will honor its three seniors prior to the game, while it will also play a part in the NLC's National Cancer Awareness week. A live video stream will be available through the Big South network and live stats will also be available.