The Liberty women's lacrosse team earned its first victory of the spring season, besting host Butler, 16-9, on Sunday at the West Campus Varsity Field.
The win brings the Lady Flames to 1-1. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 0-1 in their inaugural season as a program.
Sophomore Kayla Foster and freshman Hannah Quast led the charge for Liberty, scoring three goals apiece. Paige Britton, Brianna McCaffrey and Jenna Joyal each scored two goals in the winning effort, while McCaffrey, Foster, Carly White and Paige Britton all tallied two assists.
"It feels good to get our first win in the books. I'm really glad that we had nine different players score, and more than half of our goals were assisted," said Liberty Head Lacrosse Coach Kelly Nangle. "This was a good team win to take home with us. We have a lot of things we need to clean up, but overall this was a good weekend for us. I'm excited to get back to work, continue to build and get better."
Liberty freshmen accounted for seven of the 16 goals: Quast (3), Joyal (2), Nikki Stumpf (1) and Grace Fletcher (1).
Quast put Liberty on the board first with a free-position goal with 25:23 remaining in the opening frame. Butler tallied the next two goals to take its first lead in program history. The first was scored by Madison Christian and the second netted by Journey Fischbeck from Christin Soderquist following a Lady Flames turnover, giving the home side a 2-1 lead with 20:24 to play in the half.
Liberty then went on a 4-0 run, highlighted by a pair of goals from Paige Britton in a 15-second span and goals from Foster and Abby Britton. Abby Britton's marker with 16:07 remaining gave Liberty a 5-2 edge.
Following another Christian goal for the Bulldogs, the Lady Flames answered with a three-goal burst in less than three minutes. Stumpf scored her first career goal, followed by a pair of goals from McCaffrey to put Liberty ahead, 8-3, with 10:07 left in the half.
On McAffrey's second goal, she corralled a high pass from Paige Britton one-handed, spun around and fired a strike into the upper right corner of the net, past Butler goalkeeper Allie Storke.
The Lady Flames were outscored, 3-2, over the remainder of the first stanza, as the Bulldogs got Christian's third tally of the day and a pair of goals from Haley Hallenbeck. Foster scored the final two goals of the half for Liberty, helping the visitors to a 10-6 lead at the break.
Liberty outscored Butler, 6-3, in the second half. Senior Courtney Brown scored her second goal of the year to put the Lady Flames ahead, 11-7. After Fischbeck tallied her second score of the day, Liberty scored the next four goals to take a 16-8 lead. In that spurt, Joyal tallied two times, while Quast added her third. Fletcher scored the first goal of her career to make it a 16-8 game with 6:23 left.
Butler's Hallenbeck scored for the third time with eight seconds left to settle the final score of 16-9.
Defensively, the Lady Flames won the battle in ground balls, 23-18, and were led by senior Ashlyn Altieri. Altieri scooped up a game-high eight ground balls, good for the fifth-best single-game total in program history. Quast and Paige Britton accounted for three ground balls each.
Liberty outshot Butler, 32-18, with a 27-11 advantage in shots on goal. The Lady Flames also dominated draw controls, 18-9. Liberty converted 10-of-13 clears, compared to just 12-of-21 for the Bulldogs.
Sophomore Aubrie Tarris made the start in goal for Liberty, making one save while surrendering six goals in the first half. Tarris (1-1) was credited with the victory, while Storke (11 saves, 16 goals allowed) got the loss.
Liberty begins its home schedule on Saturday against Richmond at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.