Club Sports News

Flames look forward to hosting N.C. State in midnight contest

March 18, 2014  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

The Flames drew more than 1,200 fans to their 10 p.m. season-opener Feb. 21 against Wake Forest at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields. They are hoping for twice that next Friday night. test test test test
The Flames drew more than 1,200 fans to their 10 p.m. season-opener Feb. 21 against Wake Forest at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields. They are hoping for twice that next Friday night.

A year to the day after hosting its first midnight "Blackout" game, Liberty University's men's lacrosse team will entertain North Carolina State University in its first home contest in more than a month on March 28, with a faceoff scheduled for 11:59 p.m. at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields.

Following an eight-game road stretch that concludes this Saturday at Davenport University and Sunday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., the Flames — who are 7-1 in their first season competing as an MCLA Division I program — will be thrilled to play on their home turf for the first time since Feb. 23.

Liberty Head Coach Kyle McQuillan hopes Flames fans get equally excited and generate plenty of noise at the free event, a Liberty-approved late-night activity. Students will be issued passes to give to their residential directors.

"We have a large student base willing to come out and support these games and it's a great opportunity to showcase what Liberty lacrosse is all about," McQuillan said, noting playing after midnight "springs everybody's competitive nature."

"We'll be looking to send a message that speaks to our level of competitiveness and what we're striving for as a program within the SELC."

Last year's "Blackout" contest, a 16-8 win over SELC Division II foe Tennessee Wesleyan, attracted more than 2,000 spectators, packing the facility to standing-room-only status.

He said N.C. State, currently in first place in the SELC's Northeast Region, was interested in the midnight affair at Liberty, the top team in the SELC Northwest Region, although it knows it will be playing in a hostile atmosphere.

"It's not a home game for them, but any time you have a chance to play in that kind of an environment and that setting, it's a unique opportunity that MCLA teams don't have every week," said McQuillan, who hopes to attract MCLA DI top-25 teams to Lynchburg in the next couple years.

To provide an outsider's perspective on the game, McQuillan is bringing in former Emory University and Israeli National Team player Dave Franklin, an online podcast producer and insider for Inside Lacrosse magazine who covers the MCLA and International Lacrosse.

Franklin, who has served as a sideline reporter and play-by-play announcer for MCLA DI and DII National Championships, will provide commentary along with Liberty Flames Sports Network broadcaster Rett McGibbon on a live webcast produced in the facility's new two-story press box.

"Liberty has one of the best Club Sports departments in the country and really keeps everything at the varsity level," Franklin said. "Coach McQuillan has developed the program and this game to give the students something to look forward to. There were about 2,400 fans there last year, making it certainly one of the most highly touted and attended on the MCLA schedule."

The Flames and Florida State University, the one team that has beaten Liberty this season and the last undefeated team in the SELC, were ranked just outside of the top 25 in this week's MCLA DI poll. Last season, their last at the DII level, the Flames started the season ranked No. 20 before ending the year at the No. 3 spot.

"They're a team that has been held out of the rankings a little bit, but they're slowly creeping their way in," Franklin said. "They run the program like a varsity program, recruit like a varsity program, and I expect they will compete with Virginia Tech for the Northwest Region title and Florida State for the SELC DI Championship."

Men's Lacrosse Links
Feb 23, 7:00 PM - Clemson, SC
Men's Lacrosse
East Carolina University
Men's Lacrosse
at East Carolina University
Feb 23, 7:00 PM - Clemson, SC

Men's Lacrosse
at Clemson University
Feb 24, 3:30 PM - Clemson, SC

Men's Lacrosse
vs. University of Connecticut
Mar 2, 4:30 PM - Lynchburg, VA

Men's Lacrosse
at West Virginia University
Mar 9, 2:00 PM - Morgantown, WV

Men's Lacrosse
at Davenport University
Mar 11, 4:00 PM - Grand Rapids, MI

Full Schedule

Feb 16
Men's Lacrosse
vs. University of Central Florida
W (17-6)

Nov 9
Men's Lacrosse
vs. Virginia Tech
W (11-9)

May 8
Men's Lacrosse
at MCLA Quarterfinals vs. Chapman University
L (10-11) OT

May 7
Men's Lacrosse
at MCLA Nationals vs. Concordia University
W (11-7)

Apr 21
Men's Lacrosse
at SELC Semifinals vs. South Carolina
L (8-16)

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