men’s lacrosse looks to get back on track in alc playoff tournament

While the Liberty men’s lacrosse team has had a phenomenal season, it ended on a rather sour note. 

After two straight losses to ranked teams in BYU and Virginia Tech, the Flames concluded the season 10-3 on the year and ranked No. 4 in the nation in the MCLA DI by the coach’s poll. 

No. 3 BYU came into Lynchburg and handed the Flames a disappointing loss during their Midnight Mayhem matchup with a final score of 11-12. 

The Flames and Head Coach Kyle McQuillan looked to bounce back against No. 1 Virginia Tech, but the offense wasn’t there for Liberty, and they fell to the Hokies 8-5. The Flames still end on the top of their ALC South Conference, and the team stands poised to make a deep run in the ALC Championship. 

With the regular season over, the Flames have two weeks to prepare to defend their title as ALC DI Champions. Their run looks to be more difficult than ever this year, with the Flames being joined by two other ALC teams in the coach’s poll. 

Virginia is ranked at No. 1, and Clemson is ranked a bit lower at No. 8. North Carolina State and James Madison University, who are also members of the loaded ALC, also received votes for
the poll. 

Now with two straight losses to ranked teams, it is common for some doubts to creep in regarding this team’s chances for a National Championship.

McQuillan seemed unfazed by the losses, however, and still holds high expectations for his team despite the rough patch. 

“I guess from a coach’s perspective knowing that BYU and Virginia Tech are as highly ranked as they are, losing to programs like that I guess it is a little bit easier to stomach, but we don’t have expectations that are anything less than another conference Championship, and then fighting and hopefully competing for a National Championship,” McQuillan said. 

McQuillan made it clear that his guys have every shot to win the championship this year, both in the ALC Conference Championship and the MCLA DI Finals. The Flames face the winner of Clemson and NC State in the second round. Barring a loss, they will move on to play either Virginia Tech or the winner of Pittsburgh and JMU. 

The ALC Playoffs start April 30 and end May 1 in Lynchburg City Stadium, with the MCLA Nationals starting May 9-14 in Round Rock, Texas. 

Palsgrove is a sports reporter. Follow him on Twitter

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