Mountaineers massacred

The Flames rout the Mountaineers 24-3 for their second win of the season

The Liberty Flames men’s lacrosse team put on a dominating performance for the second week in a row taking down the West Virginia University Mountaineers 24-3 Saturday March 5 at the Club Lacrosse Fields.
This is the Flames second win of the season putting them even at .500 with two wins and two losses.

Clean up — Flames senior Brandt Grauss scoops up a groundball in the Flames blowout win over West Virginia. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

Clean up — Flames senior Brandt Grauss scoops up a groundball in the Flames blowout win over West Virginia. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

The offense started early and came quickly from the Flames attack. The team took a 3-0 lead before the Mountaineers called a timeout to regroup. The timeout did little else than stop the clock as the Flames offensive attack only grew from that point.

“I think its good for younger guys to get some experience and just get comfortable out there,” senior attacker Ryan Miller said. “Obviously our older guys have been here before so getting some other guys in there is good for us.”

The lead was 6-0 for the Flames after the first quarter. The second started with a goal from senior midfielder Chad Moore who received the pass from senior midfielder Brett Bernardo. Moore threw the ball over the left shoulder of Mountaineers goaltender Chris Peters to add to the Flames lead.

When the Flames were not scoring goals with long distance snipes, they were implementing movement off of the ball with cuts to the net. Senior midfielder Bryce Mrakovich cut right toward the goal and scored. Directly after, sophomore midfielder Morgan Pitts made a backdoor cut behind the defense and scored to make it a 12-0 game.

The Flames took a 14-0 lead into halftime. On the other side of the break the Flames scored quickly with a goal from junior midfielder Brent Miller to extend the lead to 15. The Mountaineers broke their scoring drought and were able to cut into the Flames monstrous lead.

“The main thing we looked at from last week to this week was being able to get more points in transition,” Head Coach Kyle McQuillan said. “Discipline is something we need to be able to do, we spent way too much time in the box and that is something we need to fix.”

Five players finished with hattricks for the Flames. Mrakovich led the way with five goals, Bernardo and Miller each had three goals and five assists, sophomore attacker Nick Lombardozzi added three goals and three assists and freshman attacker Sam Gregory also scored three goals.

Everybody got involved in some shape or form including McQuillan who was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and got run over by a Flame going after a ground ball.

“I got trucked,” McQuillan said. “I can’t fault him, he was hustling hard for a ground ball. That is what I coach, that is what I teach.”

Miller expressed his confidence in his team’s ability to matchup with anyone in the country.

“The biggest thing is limiting turnovers and recovering ground balls, working on basic fundamental lacrosse,” Miller said. “If we work on those, there is not a lot of teams in the country that can beat us.”

The Flames will be in action Wednesday, March 9 against MCLA No. 14 Michigan State at the Club Lacrosse Field at 7 p.m.

Day is a sports reporter.

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