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Lacrosse Preseason Practice Begins

January 19, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshman goalie Blaire Barnhart sets up for a shot on goal during the Lady Flames first preseason practice of 2010.

Freshman goalie Blaire Barnhart sets up for a shot on goal during the Lady Flames first preseason practice of 2010.

Lacrosse Preseason Photo Gallery

The Lady Flames lacrosse team officially kicked off the 2010 preseason for its inaugural campaign, holding its first practice inside the Schilling Center on Monday. During the session, the team participated in numerous drills, concentrating on conditioning, skill building and passing techniques.

The team began with a seven-up-seven-down sprint drill. Focusing on ball control while sprinting, the exercise consisted of each player running 25 yards up the court and then quickly turning and running back down court while maintaining possession of the ball.

Following sprints, head coach Regan Denham led the team through drills, which focused on stick work, ball control, passing and shot placement.

Practice intensified in the final quarter, as the players participated in a three versus two scrimmage drill. The Lady Flames took turns playing offense and defense, reinforcing quick transitions in a continuous game day scenario.

In the final minutes of the practice, the players broke into pairs for stationary stick work. Rather than standing in a normal stance, each player practiced catching passes while standing on one foot or jumping.

The Lady Flames returned to practice bright and early Tuesday morning, focusing primarily on leading passes. Players on offense concentrated on finding teammates up field for long passes. Throughout the session, more defenders were added to provide extra pressure on the offense.

Liberty's inaugural lacrosse season begins on March 3, as the Lady Flames head eastbound on Route 460, squaring off with fellow National Lacrosse Conference (NLC) foe Longwood. Last season, the Lancers captured the NLC tournament crown, defeating Detroit Mercy, 19-8. Game time for Liberty's season opener against the defending conference champion is slated for 7 p.m.

Coach's Corner
Today, caught up with lacrosse head coach Regan Denham following the team's first two days of preseason practice.

On the positives the team has shown after the first two days:
Their fitness level was really good and their stick work has improved a lot over the break. I think they have made huge strides. I thought their intensity was really good, especially on Tuesday morning, considering we started at 6 a.m.

On what's ahead for the Lady Flames in their practice schedule:
We've spent the first two days really just getting back into stick work. Starting on Wednesday, we will start working on offensive and defensive concepts. Next week, we will move onto whole team concepts, focusing on the entire unit working together as opposed to individual offensive and defensive skills.

On who has stood out the most since returning from break:
Hillary Baker has made the biggest improvement. She is an amazing athlete and she worked really hard over break. Since she has been back, I've been very impressed.