No. 2 Seed Liberty Falls 20-12 to No. 1 Seed Jacksonville in Saturday’s ASUN Final
Top-seeded and 20th-ranked Jacksonville claimed its fifth straight ASUN title, defeating No. 2 seed Liberty 20-12 in Saturday’s ASUN Women’s Lacrosse Championship final at Rock Stadium.
Liberty’s season ends with an 11-8 mark. Meanwhile, the Dolphins improve to 13-4 and earn the ASUN’s automatic berth into the 2022 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
Saturday matchup between the Lady Flames and Dolphins was the third straight ASUN final featuring the two squads. This is the fourth all-time conference championship game appearance for Liberty (ASUN in 2019, 2021 and 2022, Big South in 2015). JU has won eight of nine ASUN titles since 2013.
ASUN All-Tournament Team
Liberty’s Hannah Quast, Jordan Baerga and Brooke Bryan were each selected to the ASUN All-Tournament team for their efforts at the championship.
Senior defender Hannah Quast – 2 games, 7 ground balls, 6 caused turnovers
Sophomore attacker Jordan Baerga – 2 games, 6 goals, 1 assists, 7 points, 6 ground balls, 4 draw controls, 3 caused turnovers
Senior attacker Brooke Bryan – 2 games, 7 goals, 1 assist, 8 points, 1 caused turnover
Liberty Goals: Cami Merkel 3, Jordan Baerga 2, Brooke Bryan 2, Mackenzie Lehman 2, Andrea Colavito 1, Olivia Glaze 1, Lizzy Ferguson 1
Liberty Assists: Tori Banks 1, Jordan Sheive 1, Mia Toscano 1
Jacksonville Goals: Alyssa Arnold 4, Lauren Craft 4, Grace Hobson 3, Sarah Elms 2, Molly Brock 1, Brianna Samuels 1, Mackenzie Boyle 1, Miya Scanlan 1, Megan Prescott 1, Madeline Cloyd 1, Kasey Stevens 1
Jacksonville Assists: Sarah Elms 3, Alyssa Arnold 2, Lauren Ellis 2, Grace Hobson 2, Lauren Craft 1, Jenny Kinsey 1
W: Paige Pagano 10-1, seven saves
L: Jennifer Soriero 11-7, 15 saves
Liberty scored the first goal of the game, as Olivia Glaze 20th goal of the season put the visitors ahead at the 12:41 mark of the first quarter. The Lady Flames’ defense held strong in the opening frame, as goalkeeper Jennifer Soriero made six of her season-high 15 saves in the period. Jacksonville’s Sarah Elms knotted the game at 1-all with 2:34 left in the first, and Madeleine Cloyd scored with 1:50 to go in the period. JU led Liberty 2-1 after one.
The Dolphins pulled away with an 11-goal second quarter to take a commanding 13-4 lead at the break. JU scored those 11 goals on 13 shots and won 13 of the 15 draw controls in the second period. Grace Hobson led the charge with three goals during that spurt.
JU outscored Liberty 11-3 in the second quarter. In the other three periods, both teams scored nine goals.
Key Stats & Notes
• Liberty, the nation’s top team in caused turnovers per game (13.33) entering Saturday, generated 17 more caused turnovers in the championship game. In her final collegiate game, Hannah Quast tallied a game-high four caused turnovers and two ground balls. Jacksonville finished the game with 11 caused turnovers.
• ASUN All-Tournament team selection Jordan Baerga scored two goals today to finish with 41 this season. Her 41 goals are tied for the third most in a season in program history. Sophomore Mackenzie Lehman scored two goals this afternoon to finish with 40 on the year, tied for the fifth most in a year in school history. Baerga and Lehman are the first pair in program history to score 40-plus goals each in a season.
• Liberty goalkeeper Jennifer Soriero matched a career high with 15 saves in the game. Her other 15-save effort came in the 2021 season and home opener versus No. 18 Virginia Tech (Feb. 12, 2021).
• ASUN All-Freshman team member Cami Merkel paced Liberty with three goals today. The Cumming, Ga., native scored seven goals in her first ASUN Tournament and finished the year with 31 goals.
• The Lady Flames held the edge in ground balls, 19-14. Both teams converted 100 percent of their clears.
• The Dolphins held a 24-11 advantage in draw controls, led by a game-high 10 draws from Molly Brock. Jacksonville outshot Liberty 43-27 and recorded 13 shots in both the second and third quarters.
• Liberty converted 3-of-6 free-position opportunities. Jacksonville was 1-of-1.
• The Dolphins have won all 10 meetings with the Lady Flames, including all six since Liberty joined the ASUN. JU outscored Liberty 40-19 in two meetings in 2022.