The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse squad fell to George Mason by the final score of 17-7 on Wednesday at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
With the loss, Liberty falls to 1-7 on the campaign, while the Patriots improve to 4-2 on the season.
The Lady Flames jumped out of the gates firing in the first two minutes, building a 2-0 lead over George Mason. Just 51 seconds into the game, Kayla Foster netted her ninth goal of the season on a shot that was set up by Kelly Belue.
Less than one minute later, redshirt-senior captain Callie Francis connected on her ninth tally of the year to double Liberty's lead to two.
The Patriots responded with four unanswered goals, including two by Alexa McGovern. George Mason's four-goal spurt placed the Patriots on top 4-2 with 23:30 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Flames retaliated by netting two unanswered goals of their own to even the contest at 4-4 with 12:18 remaining in the opening stanza. Belue began the run with her first goal of the season, assisted by Foster.
It was Foster who knotted the contest at four apiece, her 10th goal of the year and second of the contest. Foster was granted a free-position attempt with 12:18 remaining and capitalized on the free shot to pull the Lady Flames even with the Patriots.
The two squads traded goals over the next 12 minutes to keep the contest deadlocked at 5-5. Liberty's final goal of the opening half was netted by Kallie Britton, her team-leading 14th goal of the season.
With the two squads looking to take a 5-5 tie into intermission, things changed in the blink of an eye. The Lady Flames were granted the ball behind their own goal with 12 ticks remaining in the first half. Liberty tried to advance the ball, but the Patriots succeeded in intercepting the pass in the Liberty zone. McGovern corralled the ball and passed it ahead to Hannah Warpinski who fired the shot in the back of the net with three seconds left in the opening stanza, giving George Mason the improbable 6-5 lead at the break.
George Mason and Liberty traded blows for the first four goals of the second half, keeping the one-goal advantage in favor of the Patriots. The Liberty goals were scored by Natalie Silvers and Francis with 21 minutes remaining in the second half. Francis' goal pulled Liberty back within striking distance.
The Lady Flames couldn't close the one-goal deficit as the Patriots rattled off nine unanswered goals over the final 19 minutes, solidifying the score at 17-7 in favor of George Mason. Three of the final nine Patriots' goals were netted by Jacquelyn Spalding who notched six during the contest.
George Mason outshot Liberty 33-13 and also held the advantage in draw controls by the final tally of 20-5.
Aubrie Tarris played the full 60 minutes for the Lady Flames in goal, garnering her first start and decision of the season. Tarris recorded 11 saves, allowing 17 goals in the loss.
Liberty will return to action on Saturday when the Lady Flames welcome in-state opponent William & Mary. The contest is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.