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Robert Morris Slips Past Liberty, 9-8

February 21, 2021  Moon Township, Pa.  RSS
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Toscano had three goals for Liberty at Robert Morris.

Toscano had three goals for Liberty at Robert Morris.

Host Robert Morris slipped past Liberty, 9-8, Sunday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium.

The Lady Flames fall to 0-2 on the year, while Robert Morris is 1-0 with the win in its 2021 season opener.

Liberty held edges in shots (33-25), ground balls (33-26), clear percentage (.880-.708) and caused turnovers (23-10) in the contest. However, Robert Morris goalkeeper Katelyn Miller made 16 saves for the Colonials, and Liberty only converted 3-of-13 free-position attempts.

Thoughts From Head Coach Kelly Nangle
"This one stings a little. We out-statted them in every category but one. We need to win those games. Our girls battled hard today. This game is always a fight, and we found ways to dig in. We just need to finish. We are playing very well defensively. We will look to improve our offense this week so we can be firing on all cylinders. We are excited to have two games to prepared for this week."

Scoring Summary
Liberty Goals: Mia Toscano 3, Mackenzie Lehman 1, Leah Ruby 1, Grace Fletcher 1, Jordan Sheive 1, Brooke Bryan 1
Liberty Assists: Carly White 1
Robert Morris Goals: Mackenzie Gandy 2, Kelley Flynn 2, Melanie Gandy 1, Clio Kerr 1, Hannah Miller 1, Olivia Rupert 1, Julia Koterwas 1
Robert Morris Assists: Melanie Gandy 2, Bailey Christianson 1, Kelley Flynn 1, Mackenzie Gandy 1, Clio Kerr 1

Goalkeepers
W: Katelyn Miller 1-0, 16 saves
L: Jennifer Soriero 0-2, six saves

Turning Point
Liberty midfielder Mia Toscano, a Pittsburgh area native (Venetia, Pa.) scored for the third time in the game to even it up at 7-7 with 11:14 remaining. Colonials junior attacker Kelley Flynn scored back-to-back goals within 24 seconds of each other (10:04 mark and 9:40 mark), with the second goal giving RMU a 9-7 lead.

The Lady Flames' Mackenzie Lehman scored her second goal of the season on a free-position shot with 3:20 to go in the contest to cut the Robert Morris lead to 9-8. Liberty had several chances in the closing few minutes, including a Leah Ruby free-position shot that hit the post with 2:01 left. RMU's Miller also made two key saves, both on Lehman shots, to preserve the victory. The final stop came with 51 seconds on the clock.

First Half Summary
• After falling into an early 3-1 hole, Liberty scored the next four goals for a 5-3 lead. Two of those goals came shorthanded, with the second one coming from the stick of Jordan Sheive with 1:36 to play in the half. It was Sheive's first collegiate goal.
• The Colonials' Clio Kerr got the hosts with one, 5-4, with a goal with 29 seconds left in the opening half.
• Liberty senior defender Sarah Steenson notched four caused turnovers and three ground balls in the first 30 minutes of the game. The Lady Flames tallied 16 of their 23 caused turnovers before intermission.

Second Half Summary
• Liberty only managed to convert 2-of-10 free-position shots in the second frame.
• The Lady Flames' last lead came with 21:19 to go, senior attacker Grace Fletcher's first goal of the season to make it 6-5.

Key Stats & Notes
• Each of the last two meetings between the two teams has been decided by exactly one goal. A year ago (March 5, 2020), Liberty edged Robert Morris 14-13 at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.  RMU has won four of the seven all-time meetings.
• A total of 16 Lady Flames collected at least one ground ball on the day. Twelve different Liberty players generated a caused turnover, led by a career-best four caused turnovers from Lehman.
• Liberty is averaging 20 caused turnovers per game through two contests.
• Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Soriero has made 21 saves through two games with a .488 save percentage. The Pompton Plains, N.J., native has a 11.00 goals-against-average.

Up Next
• Liberty will welcome the Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0) to town on Wednesday afternoon. First draw between the two teams is scheduled for noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. 
• Cincinnati holds the 2-0 series edge, but the two teams have not played in nearly eight years. The Bearcats topped the Lady Flames 7-3 in the most recent meeting (March 14, 2013).