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Liberty's Late Comeback Falls Short in 14-10 Loss to No. 20 Notre Dame, Sunday

February 17, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Foster set a new program record with her 188th career point, Sunday against Notre Dame.

Foster set a new program record with her 188th career point, Sunday against Notre Dame.

The Lady Flames lacrosse team staged a late comeback over the final seven-plus minutes against No. 20 Notre Dame, but the attempted rally came up just short. The Fighting Irish edged Liberty 14-10 on Sunday at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Trailing 14-5 with under eight minutes to play, Liberty scored five times over the final 7:07, but Notre Dame held on for its third victory of the year.

The Lady Flames are now 2-1 on the season. Notre Dame improves to 3-0. Sunday marked the first time Liberty had ever hosted Notre Dame in any sport.

With a four-point (1 g, 3 a) effort on Sunday, Liberty senior captain Kayla Foster became the program's all-time career points leader (188). Foster's second half assist to sophomore Anna Keebler with 6:46 remaining was the 188th point of the senior's storied career.

Foster needed only 58 games to reach 188 career points and is program leader in points per game as well (3.24). She surpassed former Lady Flame Morgan Becker, who recorded 187 points in 73 games from 2011-15.

Keebler and Liberty junior captain Carly White both scored three goals in the match. White's hat trick was the 10th of her career. Andie Aldave and Samantha Lynch each had four goals for the visitors, who displayed strong passing with 10 assists as a team.

Scoring Summary
Liberty Goals: Carly White 3, Anna Keebler 3, Grace Fletcher 2, Kayla Foster 1, Jenna Joyal 1
Liberty Assists: Kayla Foster 3, Jenna Joyal 1
Notre Dame Goals: Andie Aldave 4, Samantha Lynch 4, Nikki Ortega 2, Jessi Masinko 1, Mollie Carr 1, Hannah Dorney 1, Maddie Howe 1
Notre Dame Assists: Jessi Masinko 4, Mollie Carr 2, Hannah Dorney 2, Andie Aldave 1, Savannah Buchanan 1

W: Samantha Giacolone 3-0, 4 saves
L: Katherine Widrick 2-1, 12 saves

Turning Point
The Fighting Irish never trailed, scoring the game's first three goals in the opening 4:23. However, the Lady Flames hung close, with Jenna Joyal's goal at the 1:11 mark cutting the Notre Dame lead to 6-4 at the half.

Notre Dame's 8-1 run to start the second frame proved to be the difference in the game. During that stretch, the Fighting Irish scored four straight man-up goals. Lynch and Howe each scored two times during the run, with Jessi Masinko's lone goal of the game making it 14-5 Fighting Irish with 8:59 remaining in the contest.

Liberty got to within four on Keebler's third goal of the afternoon with 1:44 left, but Notre Dame fended off the Lady Flames' last chance on attack to preserve the win.

First Half Summary

  • Notre Dame's Ortega, Lynch and Mollie Carr scored in the first 4:23 of the game for a 3-0 Fighting Irish lead. The Lady Flames outscored the visitors 4-3 the rest of the way behind goals from White, Grace Fletcher, Foster and Joyal. Fletcher, who finished the game with two goals, recorded her seventh career multiple-goal effort.  
  • The Fighting Irish had 17 shots in the opening 30 minutes, compared to just eight for the Lady Flames.


Second Half Summary

  • The key to Notre Dame's success in the early portion of the second half came in the draw circle and in man-up goals (four straight). The Fighting Irish dominated the draw circle over the final 30 minutes, 12-3.
  • With a nine-goal deficit, Liberty did not go quietly, scoring five goals during a stretch of 5:23 (from the 7:07 mark to the 1:44 mark) on Notre Dame netminder Bridget Deahan. Two of those markers were free-position shots (Fletcher and White), and three were of the man-up variety (Fletcher, White and Keebler).


Key Stats & Notes

  • Coming into Sunday's contest, the most goals Liberty had ever scored against a ranked foe was five on March 25, 2015 at No. 13 James Madison (18-5 loss). The Lady Flames doubled that total today with 10 goals.
  • Reigning ASUN Defensive Player of the Week, senior goalkeeper Katherine Widrick, matched a career high with 12 saves in the contest. Widrick already has two games of 10 or more saves, this season.
  • Notre Dame outshot Liberty 34-21 on the day and held advantages in ground balls (26-19), caused turnovers (19-13) and draw controls. Both teams converted three free-position opportunities, with White (Liberty) and Aldave (Notre Dame) both scoring two free-position tallies.
  • The Fighting Irish made it challenging for Liberty in the clear, as the Lady Flames only converted 47.1 percent (8-of-17) of their clears. Note Dame was 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) on its clears.
  • Liberty senior midfielder Brianna McCaffrey paced all players with four caused turnovers. McCaffrey and White shared game-high honors with four ground balls each.
  • White and Joyal lead the team with seven goals apiece in 2019. Through three games, the Lady Flames are scoring 11.67 goals per game and allowing just 8.00 goals per game.


Up Next

  • The Lady Flames will play their second home game of the year against the Elon Phoenix (1-1), next Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
  • The all-time series between the two teams is even at 1-1. Elon won the last meeting, 13-8 on March 28, 2015 in Elon, N.C. The Phoenix finished No. 40 in last year's NCAA Lacrosse RPI, while Liberty finished No. 38.