Campbell's Sarah Paul scored 2:07 into overtime, lifting the visiting Campbell Camels to a 12-11 victory over the Liberty Lady Flames lacrosse team, Saturday afternoon, at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
Campbell (6-6) remains unbeaten in Big South play at 3-0, while Liberty (3-10) drops to 2-1 in conference action.
The Campbell sophomore's goal, her second of the day, came on a transition opportunity during the third possession of overtime. After Liberty goalkeeper Katherine Widrick made a save in overtime, Carly White's shot was turned aside by Camels netminder Merredith Bechler.
Bechler's 10th save of the afternoon created a fast break opportunity for Paul, who raced past the defense and buried the game-winning goal. Paul's game-winning goal in overtime was her second of the game and 17th overall goal of 2017.
Carly White scored a game-high four goals for the Lady Flames, while Paige Britton scored three times. Melissa Placek paced the visiting Camels with three tallies.
Widrick (2-5), the reigning Big South Defense Player of the Week, received the loss in net, making five saves while yielding 12 goals. Bechler improves to 5-4 in goal. She allowed 11 goals versus 10 saves.
The overtime session was set up by a dramatic finish to regulation. The Lady Flames trailed 10-8 with 11:53 left following a Katlin Steinbauer goal, but Liberty's Paige Britton provided two goals to tie the score up, 10-10.
Her free-position marker with 7:17 to play brought the score to 10-9. With 3:02 left in regulation, Liberty's Kayla Foster found a cutting Britton, who collected the pass and ripped a shot past Bechler to even the score at 10-10.
Following a Camels turnover and a Liberty timeout, the Lady Flames set up their offense. This time, Foster found White inside the eight-meter arc. White spun off a defender, flipped the stick to her left hand and ripped a shot into the right side of the Campbell goal. White's career-best fourth goal staked Liberty to an 11-10 edge with 56.5 seconds remaining on the clock in regulation.
Paul then won a crucial draw control for Campbell, setting up a scoring opportunity for the Camels. From behind the net, Kayla Reilly found Placek, Campbell's leading scorer, in front of the right side of the goal. Placek sent a shot past Widrick to tie the game up, 11-11, with 27 ticks left in regulation.
The Lady Flames led 7-5 at halftime. Liberty scored 11 seconds into the game, as Brianna McCaffrey won the draw and raced by the Camel defense for her first marker of the day. White pushed the Liberty advantage to 2-0 when she collected a feed, barreled through the middle of the defense, and fired a close-range shot past Bechler.
Campbell received tallies from Paul and Matz to knot the score up, 2-2. Liberty senior Courtney Brown ripped a shot that found the left side of the frame for a goal, her seventh of the year, providing the home side a 3-2 edge with 15:58 on the clock in the opening half. McCaffrey's second marker of the game boasted the Lady Flames' lead to 4-2 with 9:06 left.
White's goal with 5:13 left in the opening half pushed the Liberty lead to 6-3, its biggest of the afternoon. Freshman Grace Fletcher's 12th goal of the season with 1:36 to play in the half sent the Lady Flames into intermission with a 7-5 lead.
Liberty was forced to play the final 21:50 and overtime without the services of leading scorer Brianna McCaffrey (25 goals), who was assessed two yellow cards in the contest.
The Camels opened the second half on a 5-1 run on goals from Mackenzie Koeller (2), Tina Ricci, Placek and Steinbauer.
Liberty, who entered Saturday's contest average 22.42 ground balls per contest (No. 8 in nation), scooped up 23, compared to 16 for Campbell. White held top team honors with five ground balls. The Lady Flames also held a 29-28 edge in shots, while the Camels possessed a 15-10 advantage in draw controls. Paul paced the visiting side with a game-high six draw control wins.
The Camels, who came into the contest ranked No. 16 in NCAA DI in turnovers (15.55 per game) were forced into 19 turnovers by the Liberty defense. Liberty freshman Sarah Steenson recorded a game-high and career-best four caused turnovers.
"Obviously, this wasn't the result we wanted today, but I'm really proud of how the girls responded in the second half and how we got ourselves back into the game. I thought we executed our game plan pretty well and played a good game against a good team," stated Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We had a lot of girls step up today when the game was on the line, and these are moments that we will learn from and grow from. We got better today, and that's what is most important. We have a lot to build on going into another big week."
Liberty will look for its third Big South Conference win of 2017 when the team travels to Gardner-Webb (0-13, 0-3 Big South) on Wednesday. The contest is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start in Boiling Springs, N.C.