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No. 4 Lady Flames Primed for BSC Championship Semifinal vs. No. 1 Panthers

May 3, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship Bracket

Liberty, the No. 4 seed in the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, will square off with No. 1 seed High Point in a semifinal showdown on Friday. First draw is set for 4 p.m. at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C.

The Lady Flames (6-12) reached the semifinals following a 20-13 win over Longwood, last Saturday in Lynchburg, while High Point (13-3) earned a bye to the semifinal round. The Panthers finished 7-0 in Big South regular-season play to receive the top seed in the tournament.  

No. 2 seed Campbell (9-7) will meet No. 3 seed Winthrop (9-9) in the other semifinal matchup at 7 p.m. on Friday evening at Vert Stadium. The Eagles advanced to the semifinals with a 20-10 victory over No. 6 seed Radford this past Sunday in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game will be held on Sunday at noon at Vert Stadium.

Series History vs. High Point
The Lady Flames are 1-6 all-time against the Panthers. Their lone win in the series occurred on April 17, 2015, a 16-15 overtime win in Lynchburg.

Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship History
Liberty is 3-4 all-time in the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. Two of those victories came in 2015, when the Lady Flames advanced to the title game, while the other occurred last Saturday versus Longwood in Lynchburg.

This year's No. 1 seed, High Point, won back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Winthrop, the No. 3 seed, will be looking for its third straight title, after winning the conference championship in 2015 and 2016.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Friday's semifinal contest will be carried live on the Big South Network. Find the link for the broadcast on the Liberty lacrosse schedule/results panel on LibertyFlames.com.

Live stats for the contest will be available on the lacrosse schedule/results panel. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for updates from Vert Stadium on Friday and for live in-game updates throughout the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.

The championship match will be carried live on ESPN3 on Sunday.

Six Liberty Players Recognized by Big South
The Lady Flames lacrosse program featured six seniors named to the Big South All-Conference list, last week by the conference.

Freshman Carly White was tabbed the Big South Women's Lacrosse Freshman of the Year, joining teammate Kayla Foster, who received the honor in 2016. White tallied 17 goals, eight assists and 25 points in seven league matches.

Foster and seniors Courtney Brown and Victoria Tickle were named to the Big South All-Conference second team. Sophomore Brianna McCaffrey and senior Lindsey McNamara both received Big South All-Conference honorable mention. Finally, Brown was chosen to the Big South All-Academic team for her efforts in the classroom.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty is No. 3 in the country in both caused turnovers per game (12.61) and ground balls per game (23.67). The Lady Flames are first in the Big South in both categories.
  • Foster paces the squad in assists (32, No. 32 in nation) and points (63). She is tied for fourth in the conference in assists per game (1.82). Foster (114 career points) is tied for fifth place in program history in career points. The sophomore is also the all-time program leader in assists (61) and needs just two assists to break the single-season mark for a Liberty player (Morgan Becker, 33 in 2015).
  • Sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey leads Liberty in goals (36), draw controls (77) and shots (116). McCaffrey is fifth in the conference and 40th nationally in draw controls per game (4.28) and tied for first in the conference in shots per game (6.44).
  • Foster and McCaffrey both set new career highs with five goals apiece in last Saturday's 20-13 victory over Longwood.
  • Liberty senior defender Victoria Tickle paces the team with 50 ground balls and is 39th in DI in ground balls per game (2.78) and third in the Big South. Tickle is seventh all-time in program history with 99 ground balls and seventh in caused turnovers (55).
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick places fourth in the Big South in goals-against average (12.99) and fourth in save percentage (.384). She has 99 saves this season and is third all-time in Liberty lacrosse history with 191 saves.
  • Freshmen have been key contributors for the Lady Flames, this spring. Carly White paces the first-year group with 25 goals and 43 points, while Grace Fletcher (18) Hannah Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (9) and Nikki Stumpf (5) have all made their marks as first-year players. White, the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Freshman of the Year, has 36 points in her last six contests, including a pair of seven-point performances during her last two games.

Scouting High Point
The Panthers enter the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship riding the nation's second-longest winning streak, 13 games. High Point topped Liberty, 25-7, on April 15 in Lynchburg. High Point ranks fifth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (12.44) and assists (8.06), sixth in points per game (23.56) and shots per game (35.75), ninth in scoring offense (15.50) 10th in scoring margin (5.75) and 12th in ground balls per game (21.63).

Offensively, Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year Samantha Brown (48 g, 18 g, 66 pts) leads the attack, while Brooke Stevens (34 g, 26 a, 60 pts) and Darla Poulin (41 g, 17 a, 58 pts) will warrant the attention of the Liberty defense.

Big South Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year Christina Del Sesto (34 gb, 25 ct, 18 dc) anchors the Panthers' defense, while Erica Perrotta (30 g, 22 a, 52 pts, 38 gb, 28 ct) contributes both defensively and on the attack for High Point.

Goalkeeper Jill Rall brings an untarnished 12-0 mark into the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. The freshman is first in the Big South in goals-against average (8.09) by nearly four goals per game and is second in the conference in save percentage (.407).

How Liberty Stacks Up Against the Remaining Big South Teams in the Championship

No. 2 Campbell
The Camels are known for their prowess in the draw circle and for limiting turnovers. Campbell wins 14.88 draw controls per game, good for 12th-best in the country. The Camels only commit 15.81 turnovers per game, which is 27th fewest in DI.

In the two teams' regular-season matchup, Liberty took an 11-10 lead on a White goal with 56.5 ticks remaining on April 8, before Campbell scored the equalizer with 27 seconds left and eventual overtime winner 2:07 into the extra session for a 12-11 victory.

Key offensive players: Kayla Reilly (26 g, 38 a, 64 pts), Melissa Placek (42 g, 11 a, 53 pts), Mackenzie Koeller (34 g, 9 a, 43 pts)
Key defensive players: Amanda Chasin (30 gb, 14 ct), Erin O'Hara (23 gb, 11 ct)
Goalkeeper: Merredith Bechler: (8-5, 12.31 GAA, 109 SV, .394 SV Pct.)

No. 3 Winthrop
Winthrop, the two-time defending Big South Champion, is currently on a six-match winning streak. The Eagles defeated the Lady Flames, 18-13, April 22 at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Eagles boast one of the top scorers in the nation in Nicole Beatson. Beatson is 16th in the nation with 56 goals and sixth with 88 points while ranking No. 1 in free-position percentage (.778). Winthrop was 9-of-11 in free-position shots against Liberty in the regular-season meeting.

Key offensive players: Nicole Beatson (56 g, 32 a, 88 pts, 51 dc), Katherine Judge (43 g, 101 dc), Kristen Shriver (32 g, 31 a, 63 pts)
Key defensive players: Katherine Judge (47 gb, 36 ct) Chloe Wormsley (49 gb, 8 ct)
Goalkeeper: Chloe Wormsley (8-9, 12.06 GAA, 120 SV, .356 SV Pct.)