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No. 2 Seed Liberty Routs No. 3 Seed Coastal Carolina 18-8 to Reach ASUN Title Game

May 2, 2019  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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ASUN Video Recap & Highlights

No. 2 seed Liberty routed No. 3 seed and tournament host Coastal Carolina 18-8 on its home turf in the ASUN Lacrosse Championship semifinals, Thursday at Brooks Stadium.

The Lady Flames have now won a program-record 14 games and are 14-4 on the season. The Chanticleers see their season end with a 12-6 record.

Liberty advance to Saturday's tournament final, where it will face No. 1 seed Jacksonville (16-3). The Dolphins topped Kennesaw State 24-8 in Thursday's first semifinal.

The Lady Flames never trailed in the game, led 10-3 at the half and dominated every major statistical category. Sophomore attacker Anna Keebler led the way, matching a career high with five goals on the afternoon, while converting on 3-of-3 free-position opportunities. Junior midfielder Carly White had three goals in the contest, and Kayla Foster, Mia Toscano and Grace Fletcher each scored two times.

Nine different Lady Flames scored in the game. Haley Alexander paced Coastal Carolina with four goals. Liberty completes a season sweep of the Chanticleers, winning both matchups at Brooks Stadium (11-10 on March 21, 18-8 today).

Scoring Summary
Liberty Goals: Anna Keebler 5, Carly White 3, Kayla Foster 2, Mia Toscano 2, Grace Fletcher 2, Brianna McCaffrey 1, Jenna Joyal 1, Lizzy Ferguson 1, Hannah Quast 1
Liberty Assists: Lizzy Ferguson 1, Kayla Foster 1, Jenna Joyal 1, Anna Keebler 1, Brianna McCaffrey 1, Mia Toscano 1
Coastal Carolina Goals: Haley Alexander 4, Carlie Doughty 2, Lauren Cremen 2
Coastal Carolina Assists: Madeline Bromley 2, Carlie Doughty 2, Lyla Robinson 2, Lauren Cremen 1

W: Katherine Widrick 14-4, 8 saves
L: Harley Barrett 12-6, 12 saves

Thoughts From Head Coach Kelly Nangle
"I am really proud of our girls. We are playing our best lacrosse at the most important time of the year. We have done a great job owning and working on things we need to work on and getting better through tough moments. This group has been able to respond when things don't go their way and get better through their mistakes, which is really hard to do. But it's a difference maker. Our girls are resilient. They've been working hard all year, and it showed today. We are exactly where we want to be, and that's a testament to their commitment to each other and this program. We couldn't be more excited to prepare for a championship!"

Turning Point
Leading 6-3 midway through the opening half, the Lady Flames closed the half on a 4-0 run to take a commanding 10-3 advantage. During that stretch, the Lady Flames received two goals from Keebler, one from Hannah Quast and one from White. Keebler's first goal during the run came in a man-down situation with 4:22 to play in the half and made it 8-3 Lady Flames.

Keebler scored with 48 seconds remaining in the half on a feed from Jenna Joyal to make it 10-3. The sophomore opened the second half with a free-position goal at the 27:09 mark to bump the Liberty lead to 11-3.

First Half Summary
• Six different Lady Flames (Fletcher, White, Kayla Foster, Toscano, Brianna McCaffrey and Keebler) scored in the first 11-plus minutes of the game, staking Liberty to a 6-1 lead.
• Liberty consistently gave itself opportunities to score with 25 shots in the opening frame, compared to 13 for Coastal Carolina. The Lady Flames held the Chanticleers to only three goals in the half and had advantages in ground balls (8-3), draw controls (9-5), caused turnovers (7-1) and free-position goals (3-0).
• Keebler had a hat trick before intermission for her eighth game of the season with three or more goals.

Second Half Summary
• Coastal Carolina drew within six (11-5) with 21:18 left following a pair of goals from Alexander, the ASUN Player of the Year. However, Joyal and White answered back with goals of their own over to extend the lead back to eight at 13-5 with 12:36 remaining.
• The Lady Flames' Foster scored with 3:21 left for a 16-7 Liberty lead. Freshman Lizzy Ferguson scored her third career goal on a free-positon shot with 1:10 left and then assisted on the final goal of the game from Fletcher with 51 seconds left on the clock. Fletcher's goal, her 12th this season, settled the final score at 18-8.
• Freshman Andrea Colavito notched a career-best two draw controls, both in the second half.

Key Stats & Notes
• Liberty will be appearing in the ASUN title game in its first season as a member of the conference. The Lady Flames will be playing in their second conference final in program history. Liberty reached the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game in 2015.
• This was Liberty's largest margin of victory (10 goals) in a postseason game in program history.
• Liberty held edges in several statistical categories, including: shots (40-24), caused turnovers (14-7), draw controls (17-11) and ground balls (16-14). The Lady Flames also scored six free position goals to zero for the Chanticleers and converted 12-of-13 (92.3 percent) of their clears, compared to 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) for Coastal Carolina.
• Liberty senior goalkeeper Katherine Widrick (14-4), who came into the game ranked ninth in the country in goals-against-average (8.85), yielded eight goals and made eight saves in the game. ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, Coastal Carolina goalkeeper Harley Barrett (12-6), allowed 18 goals in the game and made 12 saves.
• Widrick and the Liberty defense did not surrender a Chanticleer free-position goal (0-of-5) on Thursday. Widrick also had a game high and season high six ground balls.
• McCaffrey, who entered the day second in the nation in caused turnovers per game (3.19), led the Lady Flames with three caused turnovers, and both Toscano and Widrick had two apiece.
• Carly White's three-goal effort gives her 60 points on the season (36 g, 24 a). White and Keebler share the team lead with 36 goals apiece. Liberty now has four 30-goal scorers in White (36), Keebler (36), Joyal (34) and McCaffrey (30).
• Foster's two goals and an assist, the 125th assist of her career, give her career 234 career points. Foster (No. 1, 234 points), McCaffrey (No. 6, 146 points), White (No. 7, 145 points) and Joyal (No. 10, 96 points) all rank inside the top 10 for career points in Liberty women's lacrosse history.

Up Next
• The Lady Flames will now gear up for an ASUN title showdown against the top-seeded Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday. First draw between the top two teams in the conference is set for 1 p.m. at Brooks Stadium and can also be seen on ESPN+.
• Liberty's only setback in ASUN play this season came at the hands of Jacksonville. The Dolphins defeated the Lady Flames 19-6, April 14.