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No. 3 North Carolina Offense is Too Much for No. 10 Lady Flames

October 29, 2015  Chapel Hill, N.C.  RSS
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Julius notched her third goal of the season against No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Julius notched her third goal of the season against No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The No. 10 Liberty Lady Flames fell short against No. 3 North Carolina today in Chapel Hill, N.C., dropping a tough 7-1 decision in front of a raucous Tar Heel crowd.

Despite the loss, senior goalkeeper Mallory Cuccio reached a milestone in the Liberty record books with her 200th career save for the Lady Flames.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 11-5 on the season, with all five losses coming at the hands of ACC opponents in 2015. North Carolina improved to 14-2 on the season with the victory.

The Tar Heels netted four goals in the opening 19 minutes with each goal coming from a different player.

The Lady Flames' defense buckled down to close out the remainder of the first half, holding North Carolina without an additional goal on five shots. Cuccio notched three saves in the final six seconds of the opening half to keep the deficit to four.

Liberty's biggest chance to get on the board in the first half came during the 29th minute when the Lady Flames were granted a penalty corner. Serena Barr and Sarah Gipe ripped three total combined shots, each one being turned away by North Carolina goalkeeper Shannon Johnson.

The Liberty offense came out quick in the second half, forcing a penalty corner during the fifth minute of the second half. Both Natalie Barr and Serena Barr ripped a shot on frame but were denied by Johnson to keep the red and blue off the scoreboard.

The Tar Heels then notched three more goals during the 50th, 51st and 65th minutes of the contest to extend the lead to seven.

With two seconds remaining in the contest, Liberty broke through and jumped on the scoreboard after Abby Julius tallied her third goal of the season. Following a short corner, Serena Barr's shot was redirected to the stick of Julius. The Pennsylvania freshman ripped the ball into the back of the net for the lone Liberty goal on the afternoon.

For the contest, the Lady Flames recorded 12 shots, seven of which were on target. The Tar Heels recorded a total of 22 shots, 13 being on frame.

The two teams were even in terms of attacking penalty corners with four for each side.

Cuccio finished the contest with six saves against 13 shots faced.

The Lady Flames return to action on Saturday when Liberty plays host to No. 4 Duke at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.

With a win, the Lady Flames would improve to 1-5 against ACC opponents this year and even the all-time series against the Blue Devils at one game apiece.