Foster's three-goal, two-assist game on Tuesday helped Liberty to a 17-8 win over visiting Butler.
Liberty's dominating second half, in which it outscored Butler, 10-2, over the final 30 minutes, lifted the host Lady Flames to a 17-8 victory, Tuesday afternoon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
The Lady Flames led by one goal, 7-6, at intermission before putting the game out of reach in the second half. Junior midfielder Brianna McCaffrey scored all three of her goals after halftime, and seven other Liberty players scored during the second frame. McCaffrey also added a game-high six ground balls, five draw controls, a pair of caused turnovers and an assist in the contest.
Liberty is now 5-2 on the year, its best seven-game start in school history. Butler falls to 0-7 in 2018. The Lady Flames are 2-0 at home, this season.
"Give a lot of credit to Butler. They came out and played hard for 60 minutes. I'm proud of how we fought today and how we grinded out a win," said Lady Flames Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We still need to work to play a full 60 minutes, and I am excited for us to work toward that. We are looking forward to two big road tests next week against Arizona State and San Diego State."
McCaffrey and junior attacker Kayla Foster paced the Liberty attack with three goals apiece, while Carly White, Hannah Quast, Michaela Rich and Mia Toscano scored two times each. Christin Soderquist led Butler with three goals (two free position). The Lady Flames, who have the best record in the Big South at 5-2, also added seven assists on the afternoon, coming from: Foster (2), Toscano (2), McCaffrey (1), White (1) and Rich (1).
The Lady Flames' Aubrie Tarris (3-2) picked up the win with a three-save first half. Liberty's Katherine Widrick played the final 30 minutes, making four saves and yielding just two goals. The Bulldogs' Haley Rayburn (0-4) made 15 saves against 17 goals allowed in a full 60 minutes of action.
Liberty started fast with a goal in the first 43 seconds of the contest. Following a caused turnover by Sarah Steenson and subsequent ground ball by McCaffrey, Liberty's Foster fed a pass to Quast, who buried a shot to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs responded with a two-goal spurt featuring tallies from Karina Latsko (assisted by Ashley Guerra) and Guerra to claim a 2-1 lead just under 10 minutes into the contest.
Toscano's goal at the 20:07 mark evened the game at 2-2, but Butler went on a 3-1 run over the next eight-plus minutes, aided by goals from Guerra, Soderquist and Morgan Paige. Paige's free-position marker with 11:38 to go in the opening half made it 5-3, Bulldogs.
Over the final 11-plus minutes, host Liberty outscored Butler, 4-1, which included goals from Rich, Jenna Joyal, Foster and White. White's goal with 31 seconds left in the half staked the Lady Flames to a 7-6 lead after 30 minutes.
Liberty began applying pressure immediately in the second half, and much of its success started in the draw circle. After an even 7-7 first half of draw controls between the two squads, the Lady Flames won 10 of the 13 draw controls in the final 30 minutes, highlighted by five from McCaffrey.
McCaffrey's first goal of the day with 27:28 left on the clock made it 8-6, Liberty. Foster's tally with 23:27 remaining, her third of the day, gave Liberty its biggest lead of the match (9-6) up to that point.
Butler's Ashley Lizzi recorded a free-position goal with 22:02 left to slice the Bulldogs' deficit to two at 9-7, but Liberty scored eight of the game's final nine goals, four of which featured assists, as well.
During the closing stretch, White, Rich, Quast, Grace Fletcher, Toscano, and Emily Browne all found the back of the net. Browne's goal with 3:20 left made it 15-8, while McCaffrey's pair of goals late (2:40 and 0:19 left) brought the final margin to nine, 17-8, in favor of the Lady Flames.
Foster (Liberty) and Soderquist (Butler) shared game-high honors with six draw controls apiece. Tuesday marked the third time this season the Liberty junior has won six or more draw controls.
Liberty outshot Butler, 43-19, for the game and 27-7 in the second stanza. Butler held a slight edge in ground balls (27-26) on the afternoon and converted 4-of-7 free-position shots, compared to just 1-of-7 for the Lady Flames.
Liberty converted all but two of its clear attempts (18-of-20, 90 percent), while causing Butler to convert 73.1 percent (19-of-26) of its clearing efforts.
The Lady Flames will now head to the West Coast for a pair of games. First, they will take on Arizona State, next Tuesday in Tempe, Ariz. Following their matchup against the Sun Devils, Liberty will travel to San Diego, Calif. to face San Diego State on March 23.
The Lady Flames' next home game will be on March 28 versus William & Mary.
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