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Dominant Second Half Propels Liberty to 10-6 Win Over Elon

February 23, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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McCaffrey scored a game-high four goals, Saturday against Elon.

McCaffrey scored a game-high four goals, Saturday against Elon.

The Liberty women's lacrosse squad scored seven unanswered goals in the second half on the way to a come-from-behind 10-6 win over the visiting Elon Phoenix, Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Liberty is now 3-1 on the season following its first home victory of 2019. Elon drops to 2-2.

The Phoenix held a 5-1 lead at intermission despite being outshot (14-9) in the opening half. The Lady Flames outscored Elon 9-1 over the final 30 minutes, including a 7-0 run over the course of the final 22:16.

Scoring Summary
Liberty Goals: Brianna McCaffrey 4, Kayla Foster 2, Anna Keebler 1, Jenna Joyal 1, Mia Toscano 1, Hannah Quast 1
Liberty Assists: Kayla Foster 1, Carly White 1
Elon Goals: Cami Lynch 2, Quinn Daly 2, Melissa Birdsell 1, Mae Mcglynn 1
Elon Assists: Gillian Curran 1, Grace Simpson 1, Kailey Thompson 1

Goalkeepers
W: Katherine Widrick 3-1, 5 saves
L: Paulina Difatta 2-2, 14 saves

Thoughts From Head Coach Kelly Nangle
"Today was one of my favorite games to be a part of as a coach. Our girls were resilient and never gave up. They grinded out a great win. I'm proud of how our girls responded and made the appropriate adjustments at halftime. We worked through a lot of stuff that wasn't going our way in the first half, they didn't get down and we finished strong. I couldn't be prouder to lead this group. We are eager to get back to work and prepare for two more very good teams this week!"

Turning Point
During the Lady Flames' aforementioned 7-0 run to end the game, senior captains Brianna McCaffrey and Kayla Foster scored five times, with McCaffrey scoring the go-ahead goal (the eventual game winner) with 15:56 left.

McCaffrey, this week's ASUN Defensive Player of the Week, had four goals on the day and scored timely goals which put Liberty ahead 7-6, 8-6 and 9-6. Her final goal with 5:55 remaining, making it 9-6, was the 100th of her career. She is one of six Lady Flames in program history with 100 or more career goals.

Liberty's defense puts the clamps on the Phoenix throughout the day, as the Lady Flames generated a season-high 22 caused turnovers and only surrendered one goal in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Katherine Widrick made four of her five saves in the final stanza.

First Half Summary

  • Elon built a 5-0 lead in the first 25-plus minutes of action, highlighted by a pair of goals each from Quinn Daly and Cami Lynch. Phoenix goalkeeper Paulina Difitta made 10 of her 14 saves in the first half and did not surrender a goal until McCaffrey scored with 1:35 left.
  • Both teams won three draw controls in the first half, and Liberty held a 15-12 edge in ground balls.

 

Second Half Summary

  • While the Lady Flames' nine goals in the second half were essential in the comeback, Liberty's defense caused problems for Elon in the clearing game. The Phoenix only converted 50 percent (6-of-12) of their clears in the second half and just 57.1 percent (16-of-28) for the game.
  • Liberty's offense applied consistent pressure in the second half, outshooting Elon 18-7.
  • Foster, Liberty's career points leader, scored the game-tying goal with 16:51 remaining. McCaffrey's game-winning marker came only 55 seconds later (15:56 mark).

 

Key Stats & Notes

  • Six Lady Flames had two or more caused turnovers: McCaffrey (4), Sarah Steenson (2), Carly White (2), Hannah Quast (2), Foster (2) and Toscano (2). Following its 22 caused turnover-effort, the Lady Flames now average 17 caused turnovers per game.
  • Liberty is now 2-1 in the all-time series with Elon.
  • The Lady Flames held advantages in shots (32-16), ground balls (29-22) and draw controls (10-7). White, the reigning ASUN Player of the Week, led all players with six draw controls and shared the team lead with Widrick with four ground balls.
  • Widrick has been stellar in net this year with a 3-1 record, 7.50 goals-against-average, .531 save percentage and 34 saves.
  • This marks the second year in a row Liberty has started the season by winning three of its first four games. All three opponents (Lehigh, Winthrop and Elon) Liberty has defeated this year finished in the top 50 of last year's NCAA Women's Lacrosse RPI.

 

Up Next

  • Liberty will travel to Moon, Pa., for a road match against the Robert Morris Colonials (2-0) on Wednesday. Match time is slated for 3 p.m. at Joe Walton Stadium.
  • The Lady Flames and Colonials last squared off on Feb. 25, 2018 in Lynchburg. Liberty defeated Robert Morris for the first time ever, 14-9, in its home opener.