Liberty Races Past Stetson 22-9
Liberty scored 10 first quarter goals and raced past Stetson for a 22-9 ASUN victory at the Liberty Lacrosse Field, Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Flames improve their overall mark to 8-5 and move to 2-0 in ASUN play. Liberty is in first place in the conference and leads No. 21 Jacksonville (7-3, 1-0 ASUN) and Kennesaw State (9-4, 1-0 ASUN) by a half game each. Stetson falls to 3-9 overall and 0-2 in ASUN competition.
Mackenzie Lehman, Jordan Sheive and Lizzy Ferguson enjoyed career days on the offensive end, while reigning ASUN Defensive Player of the Week Alexa Evernham had a career day on the defensive end. Lehman scored a career-high six goals and won a game-high nine draw controls. The midfielder from McMurray, Pa. is the first player in program history with at least six goals and nine draw controls in a game.
Sheive, an attacker, set career highs in goals (4) and points (7) and matched a career high in assists (3). Ferguson notched her first three-goal game and added five draw controls. Evernham set a new career high with six caused turnovers, tied for the third most in a game in school history, and added three ground balls and her second career goal.
Liberty Goals: Mackenzie Lehman 6, Jordan Sheive 4, Lizzy Ferguson 3, Jordan Baerga 2, Cami Merkel 2, Brooke Bryan 1, Olivia Glaze 1, Mia Toscano 1, Alexa Evernham 1, Jolie Blohm 1
Liberty Assists: Jordan Sheive 3, Jordan Baerga 2, Brooke Bryan 1, Olivia Glaze 1, Leah Ruby 1, Lucy Shimek 1
Stetson Goals: Samantha Paglino 3, Saige-Lyn Gidzinski 3, Camden Frissora 1, Molly Kearney 1, Kaitlin Pani 1
Stetson Assists: Georgia Goering 2, Kate Johnson 1, Samantha Paglino 1, Maria Snee 1
W: Jennifer Soriero 8-4, four saves
L: Kiera McCarthy 3-8, five saves
Liberty found the back of the cage 10 times in the first quarter, doing so for the second straight game. The Lady Flames opened up a 10-3 lead through 15 minutes. Lehman scored four of her six goals in the opening stanza and recorded a hat trick in the first 3:55 of the contest to give Liberty an early 3-0 lead.
The Lady Flames increased their lead to nine goals, 15-6, at the break, as Lehman scored all six of her goals in the first half. Sheive notched three goals by intermission as well and dished out one assist as well in the first 30 minutes.
First Half Summary
• Liberty’s 15-goal first half, its most goals in any half this season, came on 26 total shots. The Lady Flames held edges in draw controls (16-7), ground balls (17-16), caused turnovers and clearing percentage (.750-.533) in the first two quarters.
• Lehman’s six goals all came in the first half. She is the Liberty first player since Anna Keebler (Feb. 26, 2020 vs. Winthrop) to have six goals in a game.
Second Half Summary
• The Lady Flames opened the second half with three straight goals (Jordan Baerga, Glaze, Ferguson) to build an 18-6 lead with 6:04 to go in the third. Sheive scored her fourth goal of the afternoon shortly before the third quarter horn sounded, providing the hosts a 19-7 edge through three periods.
• Midfielder Lucy Shimek recorded her first career assist in the second half. The Steamboat Springs, Colo. native assisted on Jolie Blohm’s first goal of the season (and third career) with 2:53 remaining in the game. The goal made it a 14-goal lead (22-8), Liberty’s biggest of the day.
• Freshman goalkeeper Mara Tellers came on in relief of starting goalie Jennifer Soriero for the fourth quarter and made four saves in the final 15 minutes.
Key Stats & Notes
• Liberty, which entered the game second in the nation in caused turnovers per game (13.17) and fourth in ground balls per game (20.75), tallied 21 caused turnovers (tied for season high) and a season-high 28 ground balls today. Evernham (six caused turnovers) led five Lady Flames who had multiple caused turnovers. Soriero paced the squad with a game-high five ground balls.
• The Lady Flames held edges in draw controls (22-11), caused turnovers (21-10), ground balls (28-24), shots (42-28), free-position goals (6-0) and clearing percentage (.682-.630).
• Liberty’s six free-position goals are a season best. Lehman converted all three of her free-position shots, while Olivia Glaze, Brooke Bryan and Ferguson each scored on eight-meter shots.
• Freshman Cami Merkel scored two goals today, giving her 20 for the season. Merkel is the first freshman to score 20 or more goals in a season since Carly White tallied 25 goals in 2017.
• Liberty has tallied 22 goals in back-to-back games, and its 22 goals are the most ever against the Hatters. The Lady Flames’ 44 goals are the most in program history in the first two ASUN games of the season.
• A total of 29 Liberty players saw playing time today.
• The Lady Flames are 4-0 all-time versus the Hatters.
• Liberty will be back in action on Wednesday at No. 11 James Madison (9-4). First draw is 6 p.m. at Sentara Park in Harrisonburg, Va.
• The Lady Flames are 0-2 all-time versus the Dukes. The two squads met in 2021 at the Liberty Lacrosse Field, an 8-5 win for the No. 23-ranked JMU.