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Foster Breaks 2 Program Records, Liberty Defeats Gardner-Webb, 21-7

April 12, 2017  Boiling Springs, N.C.   RSS
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Foster broke Liberty lacrosse records for both assists (8) and points (11) in Wednesday's win at Gardner-Webb.

Foster broke Liberty lacrosse records for both assists (8) and points (11) in Wednesday's win at Gardner-Webb.

Liberty sophomore attacker Kayla Foster broke the school record for assists and points, helping guide a powerful Lady Flames offensive attack to a 21-7 victory over host Gardner-Webb, Wednesday at Spangler Stadium.

Foster notched three goals, tallied a program-record eight assists and recorded 11 points, the most by any Liberty player in a game in program history. Foster's eighth helper came with 2:15 to play, setting up Brittany Tickle's first career goal.

Foster's eight assists broke the previous record set by Sam Struss at Delaware State (March 1, 2013). The previous program record for points was nine, set by two different Lady Flames (Morgan Becker twice, Karis Walborn).

"We did a really good job of playing unselfishly. Everybody was going full-speed through their cuts, so it made it that much easier to find them in open space. It was just an all-around team effort," Foster said.

With the win, Liberty improves to 4-10 overall and 3-1 in the Big South. The Lady Flames remain in third place in the conference after both Campbell (4-0) and High Point (4-0) were victorious on Wednesday as well. Gardner-Webb drops to 0-14 overall and 0-4 in the Big South.

Aside from Foster's career day, Liberty's offense was on full display on Wednesday, scoring a season-best 21 times. Ten different players entered the scoring column, led by a career-high four markers from senior Courtney Brown and a hat trick from Paige Britton. Additionally, Liberty received two-goal efforts from a trio of freshmen – Grace Fletcher, Jenna Joyal and Carly White – and a pair of goals from Brittany Tickle. Eden Bayuk scored her first of the season, while Brianna McCaffrey and Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti tallied goals in the contest.

The Lady Flames also set a program record with 52 shots in the contest, compared to 22 for Gardner-Webb. They won 22 draw controls (tied-third in school history) to just seven for the Runnin' Bulldogs.

McCaffrey won a game-high 10 draw controls, the third-most in a single game in Liberty lacrosse history. Liberty netminder Katherine Widrick (3-5) made four saves in 33:20 of action to earn the victory, while fellow sophomore goalkeeper Aubrie Tarris collected three saves in the final 26:40. GWU's Katie Sylvester (0-5) was credited with the loss for Gardner-Webb, as she made 15 saves while yielding 15 goals.

"Midweek games on the rough are always tough. I'm proud of how the girls came out and how we executed when we need to," stated Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We need to clean up some of the little things this week as we prepare for a big game against High Point on Saturday. It was a complete team win, as we got contributions from everyone. We're building and growing every day."

Liberty raced out to a 9-0 advantage in the first 22:29 of play. Fletcher put the visiting Lady Flames on the board, following a beautiful feed from Brown to Fletcher in the middle of the eight-meter arc. The visitors' next two markers came from the stick of Brown, who was found by Foster for her first two assists of the match.

Goals from McCaffrey, Brown and Foster stretched the lead to 6-0 with 12:36 left in the opening half. Foster's goal came following a Paige Britton shot. Foster corralled the loose ball and dropped a shot through the legs of Runnin' Bulldogs' goalie Sylvester.

Paige Britton's free-position tally at the 7:48 mark made it 7-0, before Foster facilitated the next two goals (Britton and White) to push the lead to 9-0 with 7:31 left on the first half clock.

Gardner-Webb closed the opening stanza on a 3-0 run, aided by goals from Lindsey Lippert, Amanda Steinmuller and Emma Rose. Rose's marker with 42 seconds to play sent the Runnin' Bulldogs into intermission trailing the Lady Flames, 9-3.

Coming out of the break, GWU's Ashley Fisch sprung a breakaway chance and found Janice Donaldson in front of the net. Donaldson's second score of 2017 cut the Liberty lead to 9-4 with 29:04 remaining.

From that point on, the Liberty offense controlled play during the remaining minutes and outscored Gardner-Webb, 12-3, the rest of the way.

After recording four assists in the opening stanza, Foster set up three of the first four Lady Flames goals in the second period. Foster's feed to Joyal produced a goal from the Liberty freshman and Foster's seventh of the game, tying a program mark and putting Liberty on top, 14-5, with 19:54 left. Just 1:21 later, Joyal assisted on Cassidy-Fischetti fourth goal of the year, giving Liberty its first 10-goal advantage (15-5) with 18:33 to go in the contest.

The Lady Flames reeled off three of the next four goals (White, Foster, Bayuk), extending their lead to 18-6. Bayuk's free-position goal created a 12-goal margin with 9:48 remaining.

After Steinmuller's second of the day with 6:19 remaining squelched the rally, Joyal's seventh goal of 2017 and a pair of goals from Brittany Tickle settled the final score at 21-7.

Liberty junior defender Lindsey McNamara paced the squad with three caused turnovers, while the Runnin' Bulldogs Abby Hanscom recorded a game-high four. McCaffrey led Liberty, who scooped up a season-high 32 ground balls, with four ground balls, while a host of Lady Flames had three ground balls, including: Melanie Via, Fletcher, Victoria Tickle, Foster and McNamara.

The Liberty Lady Flames will welcome first-place High Point (10-3, 4-0 Big South) to Lynchburg on Saturday. The contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.