Uplifted by a record-setting crowd of over 4,000, Liberty University’s men’s lacrosse team surged past North Carolina State University early Saturday morning in the second annual “Blackout” game on the recently expanded Liberty Lacrosse Fields.
The game started shortly after midnight on Friday and drew twice as many fans as last year. The Flames, sporting specially designed black uniforms for the occasion, broke ties twice in the fourth quarter before securing a 9-7 win over the Wolfpack.
"Those bleachers probably hold 1,250, but they were packed in there tight last night. We had people all up and down the side and the fence line was all filled in. It’s nice to see the support and nice to see that the students here on campus can get behind us," said Flames Head Coach Kyle McQuillan.
Sophomore attack Brett Bernardo (28) sparks the Flames' transition game in front of packed stands at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields in a 9-7 win early Saturday morning.
he popularity of men’s lacrosse at Liberty, one of 32 offerings in a thriving Club Sports program, has snowballed since the program was reinstated in 2010. Following the 2013 season, when the Flames captured the SELC Division II tournament title and advanced to the Final Four of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) DII National Championships, the program transitioned to MCLA Division I. The Flames now compete against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (SEC), among others. Liberty is currently ranked 27th in the MCLA DI poll, one spot ahead of Virginia Tech, its toughest competitor in the SELC DI Northwest Region.
The Flames (9-3, 2-0 Southeastern Lacrosse Conference, Northwest Region) returned to action on Sunday and improved to 4-0 at home with an 18-4 triumph over Auburn University.