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Lady Flames Sink Pirates, 15-4, on Wednesday

February 21, 2018  Greenville, N.C.  RSS
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Liberty defeated ECU, 15-4, on Wednesday in Greenville, N.C.

Liberty defeated ECU, 15-4, on Wednesday in Greenville, N.C.

Visiting Liberty raced out to a 9-0 lead on East Carolina and never looked back, picking up a 15-4 victory on Wednesday at Johnson Stadium.

Liberty improves to 2-1 in 2018 with its second road win of the year, while East Carolina is 1-3 after the defeat.

Carly White and Jenna Joyal paced the early scoring barrage in the first 17:53 of play. White scored all three of her goals in the contest during that stretch, while Joyal scored twice, the second of which provided the Lady Flames a 9-0 edge with 12:07 left on the first half clock.

Joyal scored a game-high and career-high four goals in the contest. White found the back of the net three times while adding two assists. Redshirt senior Michaela Rich paced all players with six points (three goals, three assists). Kayla Foster (1 g, 4 a, 5 pts) and Hannah Quast (2 g) rounded out the list of five Liberty players with multiple-point efforts in the game.

"I'm really proud of how our girls responded from our last game," said Liberty Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We are growing together as a team through each game, and we are excited to get back to work and prepare for a tough Robert Morris team on Sunday."

Liberty goalkeeper Aubrie Tarris played a nearly flawless first half, making six saves while surrendering just one goal, which came from ECU's Nicole Legar with 12 seconds left in the opening half. Tarris picks up her first win of the season, improving to 1-1. Katherine Widrick played the second half for the Lady Flames, making two saves. The Pirates' Abbey Smith drops to 1-1 after allowing 15 goals and making 11 saves on the afternoon.

The Lady Flames dominated nearly every statistical category in the match, including: shots (40-15), draw controls (14-7), ground balls (22-15), caused turnovers (16-5) and clears (10-of-13 for Liberty, 10-of-18 for ECU).  Liberty set season highs in goals, shots, points (27), shots on goal (26) and caused turnovers.

The Lady Flames' White scored 52 seconds into the game on a feed from Rich, providing the visitors the early 1-0 advantage. Assists quickly became a theme in the game. Twelve of Liberty's 15 goals, including eight of nine in the first half, were assisted on.

Liberty bumped the lead up to 4-0 with goals from Joyal, Foster and Quast (free-position). Lady Flames freshman Mia Toscano and Anna Keebler (game-high four ground balls) scored their first career markers, back-to-back, extending the lead to 6-0 just over seven and a half minutes in. Tallies from White (2) and Joyal (1) rounded out the run and made it 9-0.

Liberty led ECU, 9-1, at intermission and outscored the Pirates, 6-3, in the second half.

The Lady Flames' Joyal and Rich stretched the lead to 11-1 with goals in the first 7:05 of the second frame. Following a goal from East Carolina's Ally Stanton with 18:03 left to bring it to 11-2, Liberty went on a 4-0 run, featuring markers from Rich (2, one of which was shorthanded), Joyal and Quast. Quast's tally, the final goal of the game for the Lady Flames, brought the Liberty advantage to 13 goals (15-2) with 7:04 mark. 

The Pirates received goals from Mackell Schultes and Emma Bowman in the closing minutes to settle the final outcome at 15-4.

Liberty's advantage in the draw circle (14-7) allowed the Lady Flames to maintain possession more than the Pirates. White paced Liberty with a game-high five draw controls, followed by Brianna McCaffrey (4) and Foster (3). ECU's Megan Pallozzi led the home side with four draw controls.

Four Lady Flames shared game-high honors with two caused turnovers: Sarah Steenson, McCaffrey, Foster and Keebler.

Liberty will play its home opener on Sunday against the Robert Morris Colonials (1-1). First draw is scheduled for noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.