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Lady Flames Notch Home-Opening Victory

February 24, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Britton netted her first career hat trick in Wednesday's 19-9 victory over VCU.
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The Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse squad earned its first victory of the 2016 season on Wednesday, besting VCU by a score of 19-9 in Lynchburg, Va.

Liberty improved to 1-2 following the win, meanwhile the Rams fall to 1-2 having dropped their second straight contest.

The Lady Flames were led by sisters Abby Britton and Kallie Britton, collecting four goals each. Katy Pridemore also came out of the victory with a hat trick, while Callie Francis, Kayla Foster and Michaela Rich each corralled four points in the match.

Despite a 40-minute weather delay, Liberty proved it was hungry for its first victory of the season, firing 42 shots during the contest which ranks third most in program history.

However, it was VCU's Ryann Shaughnessey who notched the game's first goal in the third minute of competition.

The Lady Flames would not be stood up on their own turf as Liberty scored four unanswered goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead. The first Liberty goal was netted by Rich, her third goal of the season.

Three minutes later, Kallie Britton claimed the lead for Liberty, a lead the Lady Flames would never relinquish. Britton's strike was set up by Francis, one of the redshirt senior's three assists on the evening. No more than 40 seconds later, Britton struck again. This time the Kansas native capitalized on a free-position attempt to give Liberty the 3-1 advantage.

Abby Britton gave Liberty the 4-1 advantage with 18:55 left in the opening stanza, thanks to the playmaking of Rich. The junior attacker set up Britton for her second goal of the season, and first of four during the contest.

The Rams would go on to score three more goals in the first half. Each VCU goal was answered by a pair of tallies from the Liberty offense.

Kallie Britton completed her hat trick with 11:44 left in the first half, followed by Foster's fourth goal of the season in the 21st minute.

Four of the final five goals in the opening stanza was scored by a player in gray and blue, each goal coming from a different player. Abby Britton began the brief scoring spurt for Liberty, with Erin Cornell ending it quickly before the halftime buzzer sounded. Cornell's first mark of the season came after goals from Pridemore and Foster.

The Rams came out in the second half with a point to prove. In the first seven minutes it was all VCU as the Rams notched three goals to pull to within striking distance.

Head coach Kelly Nangle called a timeout to allow her squad to regroup. The Lady Flames responded with eight unanswered goals to extend the lead to double digits, 18-7.

During the run, Abby Britton and Pridemore each notched two goals. The final four goals of the 8-0 spurt were collected by Kallie Britton, Rich, Francis and freshman Brianna McCaffrey.

The Rams pulled back to within single digits before Natalie Silvers extended the lead back to 10 for Liberty. Silvers notched her first goal of the season with 47 ticks left in regulation, giving Liberty the 19-9 victory.

The Lady Flames controlled all facets of the game, outshooting the Rams by a tally of 42-14. Liberty also scooped up 31 ground balls compared to 19 for VCU, while also winning 17 draw controls to the Rams' 12. Liberty also successfully cleared 13 of 14 attempts throughout the contest.

Freshman goalie, Katherine Widrick, picked up her first victory in a Liberty uniform. Widrick played the first half, giving up four goals and collecting two saves in 30 minutes. Fellow freshman Aubrie Tarris finished the contest between the pipes for Liberty. Tarris allowed five goals and earned one save.

Liberty returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy at noon. The contest will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.