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Lady Flames Set for Big South Opener

March 29, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Set for Big South Opener

The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team will conclude its four-game home stand tomorrow with a 4 p.m. showdown against defending Big South champion, Winthrop. The contest will be played at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Live stats and live video will be made available by the Liberty Athletics Communications department and StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats and live video by clicking on the appropriate link on the lacrosse schedule/results panel. Fans can also follow live updates on Twitter by following @LUGameday.

Last Time Out
The Lady Flames fell to William & Mary on Saturday by the final score of 10-5 at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. With the loss, Liberty fell to 1-8 overall on the season. Natalie Silvers and Kallie Britton paced the Lady Flames with two points apiece. Silvers netted two goals during the contest, while Britton recorded one goal and one assist. Aubrie Tarris and Katherine Widrick split time in goal for the Lady Flames with Tarris garnering the start. The Sewickley, Pa., native yielded seven goals while notching six saves. Widrick finished the contest in goal, surrendering three goals and recording six saves.

Same Name, Double the Trouble
Senior captains Kallie Britton and Callie Francis rank second and third on the team in points. Francis currently ranks second in points (18) and second in assists (7), falling in behind Kayla Foster in both categories. The redshirt senior has also accounted for 11 goals, ranking second behind Britton. Britton leads the team in goals scored with 15. The Kansas native has also accounted for 17 points. Britton and Francis have combined for 26 ground balls, 18 draw controls and 13 caused turnovers.

Freshman Poise
Kayla Foster has stepped up in a tremendous way for the Liberty offense. Foster leads the team in both points (20) and assists (10). The Pennsylvania native is also third on the team in goals with 10.

Brittons Got Talent
Sisters Abby and Kallie Britton have accounted for 23 goals and three assists thus far. Kallie leads the team in goals with 15, while Abby ranks fourth on the team with eight. Abby, a sophomore midfielder, has surged onto the scene for the Lady Flames. The Kansas native recorded one goal a season ago and has already netted eight goals this season. Kallie has owned up to her label of captain. The senior midfielder has netted a team-best 15 goals and recorded two assists.

Defense Wins Championships
The defensive core of Colleen Ekert, Meghan Hammond, Lindsey McNamara, Victoria Tickle and Melanie Via have anchored the Liberty defense this season. The quintet has combined for 81 of Liberty's 162 ground balls this season, to complement 52 of the Lady Flames' 85 caused turnovers. Ekert leads the squad in ground balls with 25, while Tickle ranks second with 20. Hammond ranks third on the squad in ground balls (15), respectively. Ekert leads the defense in caused turnovers with 20 and ranks No. 11 in the NCAA in caused turnovers per game (2.22). Via has 11 caused turnovers while McNamara and Tickle have 10 and nine, respectively.

Flying with the Eagles
Winthrop arrives in the Hill City with a 10-2 overall record, including 1-0 in conference play. Most recently, the Eagles defeated Radford in both teams' Big South opener on Saturday, 26-5. Winthrop reigns as the defending Big South champion, besting Liberty by the final score of 13-8 in the Big South title game on May 3, 2015, in Rock Hill, S.C.

Winthrop features four players with 30 points or more this season, led by Shannon Gallagher with 38 points (28 g, 10 a). Gallagher also leads the squad in ground balls with 37 and caused turnovers with 32. Hayley Krause and Katherine Judge pace the squad in draw controls with 48 and 44 draws won.

2015 Big South Freshman of the Year Alaina Girani leads the way in goal for the Eagles, earning a 10-2 overall record. The Winthrop sophomore ranks second in the NCAA in save percentage (.551) and No. 15 in the NCAA in saves with 87.

What's Next?
Following tomorrow's conference tilt, the Lady Flames will travel to Conway, S.C., to take on Coastal Carolina on Saturday. The contest is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at Brooks Stadium.