Sam Struss notched her 16th assist on Saturday, setting a new Liberty single-season record.
Looking for its third consecutive home victory, the Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team squared off against the Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. However, it was the Colonials who raced out to an early 4-0 advantage and went on to claim the win by a final score of 9-6.
Liberty drops its second game in a row to fall to 4-4 on the season. With the victory, Robert Morris moves a game over .500 at 4-3.
The game proved to be a defensive struggle in the opening minutes of the contest. Liberty's Kallie Britton notched the only shot for either team in the first 12:27 of the game.
Robert Morris broke through at the 17:32 mark of the opening stanza and proceeded to tack on three more scores in the next 5:33. Jessica Karwacki notched the first two goals for the Colonials, while Lauren Roberts and the team's leading scorer, Emily Jamison, each added a goal to give Robert Morris the 4-0 edge.
Sam Struss ended the scoreless drought for Liberty with her ninth goal of the season, coming with 10:23 remaining in the first half. Amber Nichols followed Struss' score with her fourth goal of the year, cutting the Robert Morris lead in half at 4-2, with just under six minutes showing on the scoreboard.
After a Colonials goal by Jessica Rutherford extended the lead back to three at 5-2, the Lady Flames responded with their third score of the game in the waning seconds of the opening stanza. Britton forced a Robert Morris turnover, scooped up the ground ball, and fired her 12th goal of the season past goalie Kaitlin Pentz with 21 seconds left in the half.
Liberty carried the momentum of the late first-half goal by Britton and tacked on a quick goal to open the second half. With 1:42 expired in the second stanza, Struss recorded her second unassisted goal of the game to pull the Lady Flames within one at 5-4.
Both teams were held scoreless for the ensuing 10:46 of the game, before Jamison notched her second score of the contest to put Robert Morris back on top by two, 6-4.
The Lady Flames trimmed the deficit to one on a Jen Freymond goal with 7:35 remaining in the final stanza. Freymond's 10th goal of the year came off of an assist from Nina Dunay.
Holding a slim one-score advantage, the Colonials seized control of the game with three consecutive goals, the last of which came with 27 ticks left on the clock.
With 15 seconds left in the contest, Struss found Kacie Fogle slashing toward the goal and delivered the pass which set Fogle up for her sixth goal of the season. On the play, Struss recorded her 16th assist on the year, setting a new Liberty single-season record.
For the contest, Robert Morris held the slight edge in shots, 19-18, while Liberty held the ground ball advantage, 22-20. The Colonials controlled 11 draws to the Lady Flames' six, but turned the ball over 28 times to the home team's 21. Liberty was successful on 18-22 clear attempts, compared to 16-21 successful clears for Robert Morris.
In defeat, Lady Flames' goalkeeper Kristen Masullo notched five saves, while Pentz made 10 stops in between the pipes for the Colonials.
Liberty returns to action with a mid-week tilt at George Mason on Wednesday. Game time against the Patriots is set for 2 p.m.