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No. 2 Seed Liberty Advances to Big South Championship Game

May 1, 2015  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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Kallie Britton scored a Big South Championship semifinals-record six goals on Friday.

Kallie Britton scored a Big South Championship semifinals-record six goals on Friday.

The No. 2 seed Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team made history on Friday night, advancing to the Big South Championship title game for the first time, thanks to a 14-8 victory over No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina at Winthrop's Eagle Field.

Aided by Kallie Britton's Big South Championship semifinals-record six goals, Liberty improved to 9-10 overall, setting a new program single-season record for wins. The Chanticleers' season ends at 11-6, after the Lady Flames halted their four-game winning streak. 

Liberty advances to Sunday's title game, where the Lady Flames will take on No. 1 seed Winthrop at 1 p.m. at Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C. Sunday's contest will be aired on ESPN3.

Senior attacker Sam Struss netted the contest's first goal of the game just 1:20 into the opening frame. Struss corralled the ball and weaved through the Chanticleers' defenders for the early tally.

Courtney Brown doubled Liberty's lead after notching her 15th goal of the campaign. Brown's goal came in the third minute of play, assisted by Morgan Becker.

Coastal Carolina netted three unanswered goals over the next five minutes of play to take a 3-2 advantage with 22:43 remaining in the opening stanza.

Britton connected on two strikes in a row to give Liberty a 4-3 lead with 12:59 left in the first half. Britton's first goal of the contest came from a ground ball delivery, scooting past the right side of Jenna Stover.

Britton then completed a full play on the defensive and offensive end. The junior midfielder caused a turnover, picked the ball up and was off to the races for the Lady Flames' clear. After being fouled and granted a free position, Britton streaked into the circle to rip a shot past Stover for a 4-3 advantage.

Nina Dunay and Struss netted back-to-back goals to give the Lady Flames a 6-3 lead with 10:44 left to play in the first half. Dunay received the ball and sprinted to goal, splitting the defenders, for her 27th goal of the season. Struss quickly extended the Liberty lead to three, netting her second goal of the contest just 50 seconds after Dunay's strike. Struss collected the pass from Katy Pridemore, spinning around a defender to bury the ball in the back of the net for her 33rd goal of the season.

Coastal Carolina's Keri White netted the final goal of the first half with 8:41 remaining before intermission. White's goal cut the Liberty lead to 6-4 heading into the locker room.

The Chanticleers came out of halftime strong, outscoring Liberty 3-1 over the first nine minutes of play, tying the contest at seven apiece. Liberty's lone goal in the opening third of the second half came from Britton, her third of the contest. Britton's goal came off a free position attempt.

With the score knotted at seven, Britton struck for the fourth time in the match. After receiving the ball, Britton ran her defender into a screen set by Pridemore. Leading the defender into the screen, Britton ran around Pridemore for a one-on-one with Stover. Britton whipped the ball into the bottom right side of the net to give Liberty an 8-7 lead with 20:16 left in the second half, an advantage the Lady Flames would not relinquish.

With 16:22 left in the second half, the Lady Flames extended their lead to two after Becker scored her first goal of the contest. Becker received a pass in front of the net from Britton, whirling around to take a shot into the upper frame to give Liberty a 9-7 lead.

Six seconds later, Britton collected her fifth goal of the contest off of a free position. After scooping up the draw control and sprinting to the goal, Britton was fouled and granted a free position attempt. The Kansas native capitalized on the attempt to provide Liberty a 10-7 lead with 16:16 left to play.

After surrendering a Chanticleers' goal by Jen Cosgrove, the Lady Flames responded with another goal to regain the three-goal lead. Once again, Britton was involved in the goal for Liberty as the junior ran down the right side of the field for a three on two advantage. Britton passed the ball across the field to Michaela Rich, who ripped a one-timer into the back of the net with 13:35 left in regulation, giving the Lady Flames an 11-8 advantage.

The Britton attack kept coming, this time as Kallie's cousin Paige Britton ripped a shot on net with 9:11 left to play. The Virginia native's shot found the back of the net for her 12th goal of the season, forcing Coastal Carolina to call a timeout after Liberty took a 12-8 lead.

With 2:33 left in regulation, Pridemore all but sealed the deal for the Lady Flames, collecting her 51st goal of the season to give Liberty a 13-8 advantage.

To cap off the event, Britton netted her sixth goal of the contest with 21 seconds left, breaking the previous Big South Championship semifinals record of five tallies. Britton received a pass from Dunay at the top of the circle, whipping the ball into the back of the net to give Liberty the 14-8 final advantage.

Liberty outshot Coastal Carolina by a total of 25-22 and scooped up 22 ground balls compared to 15 from the Chanticleers.

Kallie Britton added two assists for an eight-point evening, while Struss notched a pair of goals and a game-high four ground balls.

Juliann Elmer earned the victory in goal, making four saves to boost her season total to 203 stops.