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Women's Lacrosse to Host Richmond, Saturday, in 2017 Home Opener

February 17, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty takes on Richmond in its home opener, Saturday at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Liberty takes on Richmond in its home opener, Saturday at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

The Liberty women's lacrosse team will play its home opener on its brand-new turf against Richmond, Saturday at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Liberty enters the contest with a 1-1 mark after splitting a pair of games at No. 8 Notre Dame (18-2 loss) and at Butler (16-9 win), last weekend. The Spiders (0-0) will be playing their first game of the year when they face Liberty on Saturday.

The Spiders lead the Lady Flames, 3-0, in the all-time series. The two teams last met on Feb. 20, 2016 in Richmond, a game won, 16-11, by the Spiders.

Liberty is 4-3 all-time in home openers. The Lady Flames prevailed, 19-9, over VCU in their home opener, last year.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
There will be no live video stream for Saturday's contest.

Live stats for the contest can be found on the lacrosse schedule/results panel. For those unable to attend, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-game updates.

Despite no live video stream, the Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) will still provide a game recap video that will accompany the postgame recap.

Four-Game Homestand
Saturday's showdown with Richmond is the first of four straight home contests for Liberty. The Lady Flames host in-state foe Virginia Tech on Wednesday at 4 p.m., followed by matches against Navy (Feb. 25, noon) and Old Dominion (March 4, noon) on the new playing surface at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Blend of Experience and Youth
Liberty Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Kelly Nangle's 2017 roster features a blend of players with veteran leadership and youth. The 28-player roster features seven seniors while welcoming in eight newcomers. Nangle's squad also has 10 sophomores and three juniors.

Redshirt senior Melanie Via and redshirt junior Faith Wells were appointed as team captains for the Lady Flames, this year.

Liberty's freshmen class has accounted for eight of the 18 goals the Lady Flames have tallied in two contests, this season. Freshmen Hannah Quast (4), Jenna Joyal (2), Nikki Stumpf (1) and Grace Fletcher (1) have all found the back of the net.

Foster, Quast Honored by Big South
On Tuesday, Liberty sophomore attacker Kayla Foster was honored as the Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week while freshman midfielder Hannah Quast was selected as the Freshman of the Week by the league office.

Foster tallied an assist at No. 8 Notre Dame, last Friday. On Sunday at Butler, Foster recorded three goals, dished out two assists and won eight draw controls in a 16-9 win over the Bulldogs.

Through two contests, the Pennsylvania native has a team-high six points.

Quast got off to a strong start to her freshman campaign. The New Jersey native scored her first career collegiate goal at No. 8 Notre Dame, last Friday. Two days later, she scored three more times on four shots and scooped up a ground ball in Liberty's victory at Butler. Quast currently leads Liberty with four goals through two contests.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • The Lady Flames currently rank third in the nation in free position percentage (75 percent).
  • Foster is No. 38 in the country in assists (3) and No. 37 in draw controls per game (4.00).
  • Senior defender Ashlyn Altieri ranks No. 14 in the country in ground balls per game (4.00)
  • Junior defender Lindsey McNamara stands at No. 13 in the nation in caused turnovers per game (3.00).
  • Liberty is being outshot by its opponents, 62-40, through two contests.
  • The Lady Flames have a better shots on goal percentage (77.5) than their opponents (62.9).
  • Through two games, Liberty is even with its opponents in both ground balls (35-35) and draw controls (24-24).
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Aubrie Tarris earned her first win of the 2017 season and fourth career win, last Sunday, at Butler. The sophomore has nine saves in two games so far this year while logging 69:05 in goal.

Scouting Richmond
The Spiders finished 2016 with a 9-10 record and 3-6 mark in Atlantic 10 Conference play. This year's roster is made up of nine freshmen, nine sophomores, seven juniors and three seniors.

Senior attacker Natalia Chaney (42 g, 6 a, 48 pts) is Richmond's top returning scorer, followed by junior attacker/midfielder Kim Egizi (37 g, 18 a, 55 pts). Egizi also scooped up a team-best 50 ground balls, last year. Junior midfielder Caroline Queally (team-high 96 draw controls in 2016) will be a factor in draw controls for the Spiders.

Goalkeeper Danni Leserve (2-2, 10.76 GAA in 2016) is back for her sophomore season, while freshman Megan Gianforte will also handle goalkeeping duties for Richmond.

The Richmond women's lacrosse program is led by fourth-year head coach Allison Kwolek. Under Kwolek's direction, the Spiders have reached the Atlantic 10 Championship game in the last three seasons.