Liberty plays its final home game of the 2011 season on Thursday, playing host to two-time defending NLC champion Longwood at 4 p.m.
Live Stats The Liberty lacrosse team concludes its 2011 home slate on Thursday, playing host to two-time defending NLC champion Longwood. Head Coach Regan Denham's squad looks to improve its position heading into the National Lacrosse Conference (NLC) Tournament (April 29-May 1) and avoid dropping four-straight contests. The opening draw at Osborne Stadium between the Lady Flames and the Lancers is slated for 4 p.m. Live Stats Live stats will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's lacrosse schedule/results page. Fans may also access live stats on the schedule panel of the web site's home page or by clicking the above link. A Look at the Lady Flames Liberty enters its final home game in 2011 with a 5-9 overall record and a 2-4 posting in conference play. Stepping out of conference play, Tuesday afternoon, the Lady Flames travelled to the nation's capital to take on Patriot League member, American. Unfortunately for Liberty, the Eagles found the net early and often to defend its home turf, 23-3. Jen Freymond, Karis Walborn and Annessa Jamison accounted for Liberty's scoring, posting one goal, apiece. Walborn leads the way in goals this season with 26, followed by junior captain Crowley who has 24. With her 26 markers, Walborn is one shy of tying Crowley's single-season record of 27 set last season. The Lady Flames' defensive captain, Chloe McIntosh, leads the Lady Flames with 31 ground balls this season, followed by Freymond who has 30. Freymond is also pacing the Liberty defense in caused turnovers with 11, this season. Kristen Masullo has appeared in the net for the Lady Flames in all 14 contests, making 149 saves (.469 save percentage). According to the latest NCAA rankings summary, the Berkeley Heights, N.J., native is No. 8 in the country in saves, No. 7 in saves per game and No. 15 in save percentage. Liberty is shooting .474 this season, finding the net on 136-of-287 shot attempts. In terms of team clears, the Lady Flames have a clear percentage of .691, successfully clearing the ball on 141-of-204 attempts. Scouting the Lancers Longwood enters Thursday's contest with an 8-7 record overall and a 4-2 posting in conference play. In their third season as an NLC member, the Lancers tasted defeat in league play for the first time this season, falling to Jacksonville on April 3 (18-10) and High Point on April 10 (12-7). Currently on a four-game skid, Longwood is coming off a recent defeat to Navy at home, Saturday. Despite two goals from senior captain Cara O'Brien on Senior Day, the Lancers were unable to overcome the Midshipmen attack, falling 9-6. The Lancers feature several players in the top 15 or higher, according to the latest NCAA National Rankings Summary. Offensively, O'Brien is listed at No. 13 in the country in goals this season, with 43, while Mary Barondess is fourth in the nation with 66 draw controls. On the defensive end, Duan Wright is tied for seventh in caused turnovers, forcing 28 miscues on the year. Goalkeeper Julie Liebig is currently ninth in the nation in total saves (141), 14th in saves per game (9.0) and 13th in save percentage (.486). The Lancers' netminder is also tied for fourth in the country in ground balls with 50. Longwood is shooting .453 this season, connecting on 192-of-424 shot attempts. The Lancers are currently ninth in the country in groundballs per game, averaging 19.8 each contest. Longwood comes into Thursday's meeting with a clear percentage of .880, reaching the offensive zone on 219-of-249 clear attempts. Liberty-Longwood Series Notes Thursday's contest marks the second meeting between the Lady Flames and the Lancers. Playing in its first-ever game in program history last season, Liberty travelled to nearby Farmville, Va. on March 3, 2010 to take on defending NLC champion Longwood. The Lancers proved why they were tops in the league at the time, taking the contest 21-3. Kristin Crowley netted the program's first goal in the opening 31 seconds, finishing the contest with two. Lauren See also chipped in an eight-meter marker in the second half to cap off Liberty's scoring on the night. NLC at a Glance Only two games remain in regular-season play. Before the meeting between the Lancers and the Lady Flames, Davidson and Presbyterian College are set for a Wednesday afternoon tilt (4 p.m.). Jacksonville and High Point have clinched the NLC Tournament's top two seeds, completing conference play with records of 7-0 and 6-1, respectively. Longwood (4-2) is currently in third, followed by Davidson (3-3). Presbyterian College and Liberty are currently tied at 2-4. Tie breaking rules could come into effect depending on the outcome of the final two games. A potential three-way tie could occur at the fifth spot, as Detroit-Mercy concluded conference play with a 2-5 mark. Howard will enter the NLC Tournament as the No. 8 seed, after finishing with an 0-7 record. National Lacrosse Conference Standings Overall NLC Team Jacksonville 12-4 7-0 High Point 12-3 6-1 Longwood 8-7 4-2 Davidson 4-10 3-3 Liberty 5-9 2-4 Presbyterian College 4-11 2-4 Detroit Mercy 3-10 2-5 Howard 3-11 0-7 Looking Ahead Liberty wraps up the 2011 regular season in Banner Elk, N.C., on Saturday, squaring off with Lees-McRae at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames then head to Davidson, N.C., for the NLC Tournament. The eight-team tourney begins with quarterfinals on April 29, followed by semifinal matchups on April 30 and the tournament final on May 1.
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