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    No. 23 JMU Edges Liberty 8-5, Thursday

    Apr 1, 2021 | Lynchburg Va | Lacrosse

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    The 23rd-ranked James Madison Dukes edged the Liberty Lady Flames 8-5, Thursday afternoon in a tightly-contested, low-scoring contest at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

    Liberty drops to 5-5 on the year after the narrow loss to its third nationally-ranked opponent of the season. JMU sees its record improve to 5-3.

    The Lady Flames' Brooke Bryan led the way with a game-high four goals, while goalkeeper Jennifer Soriero (11 saves) recorded her fourth double-digit save game of the season. Liberty's defense limited the Dukes to only two goals in the first half.

    Thoughts From Head Coach Kelly Nangle
    "I could not be prouder of our girls. They came out ready to play. They played with confidence and did a great job of executing our game plan. We needed a little more urgency on the offensive end in the second half, but we will be able to get a lot from this film today. We are headed in the right direction, and we are getting exactly where we want to be. We gained a lot today and will use what we learned to be better next weekend!"

    Scoring Summary
    Liberty Goals:
    Brooke Bryan 4, Cary White 1
    Liberty Assists: Jordan Baerga 1, Leah Ruby 1, Jordan Sheive 1
    James Madison Goals: Isabella Peterson 2, Daria Lucchesi 2, Kacey Knobloch 1, Rachel Matey 1,
    Katelyn Morgan 1, Taylor Marchetti 1
    James Madison Assists: Kacey Knobloch 2, Tai Jankowski 1, Daria Lucchesi 1, Rachel Matey 1

    W: Molly Dougherty 4-3, five saves
    L: Jennifer Soriero 5-5, 11 saves

    Turning Point
    Liberty struck for the first goal of the game, led 3-1 through the first 21-plus minutes and took a 4-2 lead into intermission. Bryan's third goal of the day (22nd of the season) with 1:54 left in the opening half gave the Lady Flames a two-goal lead at the break.

    However, the Dukes held Liberty off the scoreboard for the first 25:51 of the second half and scored
    six of the seven goals in the second half. JMU's Isabella Peterson and Daria Lucchesi both scored twice in the second stanza. Lucchesi tallied goals with 22:22 and 12:44 left, respectively, putting the Dukes ahead 6-4.

    Liberty's Bryan recorded her fourth goal of the contest, coming on a free-position shot, with 4:09 left to trim the Dukes' lead to 7-5. JMU's Rachel Matey tacked on an insurance goal at the 3:22 mark for an 8-5 advantage for the visitors.

    First Half Summary
    • Despite being outshot 15-6 in the first half, Liberty's defense held strong and yielded only two goals. Soriero made seven of her 11 saves in net in the opening frame.
    • The Dukes had eight free-position shots in the first half but came up empty on all eight chances.

    Second Half Summary
    • James Madison controlled possession with a strong second half in the draw circle. The Dukes won seven draws in the final half, compared to only one for Liberty. JMU's Matey had six of her game-best eight draw controls in the second half.

    Key Stats & Notes
    • Liberty's three-goal setback marked its closest loss to a ranked opponent in program history. Prior to Thursday, the Lady Flames' closest game against a ranked foe was a 14-10 home loss to No. 20 Notre Dame on Feb. 17, 2019. James Madison's eight goals were also the fewest Liberty has surrendered to a top-25 team in school history.
    • JMU outshot Liberty 28-16 and held a 20-15 edge in ground balls. Both teams generated 10 caused turnovers. Each team found success on clearing opportunities, as JMU converted 21-of-23 chances (91.3 percent) to Liberty's 18-of-23 opportunities (78.3 percent).
    • Liberty's Soriero and Emma Johnson shared game high honors with four ground balls apiece. JMU's Charlotte Smith notched a game-high three caused turnovers, while Lady Flames defenders Sarah Steenson and Mikayla Coghill both had two.
    • The Lady Flames' strong defense kept the Dukes from scoring a goal on eight free-position shots (0-of-8).
    • JMU is now 2-0 in the all-time series with Liberty. Thursday's game was originally scheduled to be played on Wednesday but was bumped back a day due to inclement weather.

    Up Next
    • Liberty's next game will be against former Big South and ASUN rival Coastal Carolina (7-4), April 10 at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. First draw is set for noon and can be seen on ESPN+.
    • The Lady Flames and Chanticleers last met on May 2, 2019 in the ASUN Lacrosse Championship semifinals. No. 2 seed Liberty defeated No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina 18-8 in that game. The Lady Flames are 5-3 all-time against the Chanticleers.