Thursday, May 11, 2017

Barr Selected to CoSIDA Academic All-District™ At-Large Team

2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District™ III Women's At-Large Team

Liberty field hockey senior Serena Barr has been named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District™ III Women's At-Large Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.

Barr has been selected to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District™ III Women's At-Large Team.
As a result of her inclusion on the team, Barr will now appear on the ballot for the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® team, with the first, second and third team All-America honorees being announced on June 8.

Barr is the second Liberty field hockey player to be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District™ at-large team, joining Helen Doolittle, who garnered the distinction in both 2013 and 2015.

Barr, who holds a 4.00 GPA, will graduate summa cum laude on Saturday with a Bachelor of Science in public health. The native of Lurgan, Northern Ireland was named the 2016 Zag Field Hockey National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Scholar Athlete on March 22. She was the only NCAA Division I field hockey-student athlete to receive the honor.

Barr was also named to the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction lists in all four seasons she competed for the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team.
On the field, she was named to the 2016 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America second team, becoming the second All-American in program history. As a senior, Barr guided the Lady Flames to a runner-up finish in their inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference in the fall of 2016 and was voted BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Liberty Seniors Brown and Tickle Named to Big South All-Tournament Team

Liberty lacrosse seniors Courtney Brown and Victoria Tickle were named to the Big South All-Tournament team on Sunday, following the conclusion of the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.

Brown (left) and Tickle (right) were selected to the Big South All-Tournament team.
Brown, a midfielder, scored the final two goals of the game in No. 4 Liberty's season-ending loss to No. 1 High Point, Friday. The native of Ladera Ranch, Calif. also scooped up one ground ball in the contest. Brown put together the best statistical season of her Lady Flames career as a senior, totaling career highs in goals (18), assists (11), points (29), shots (51), shots on goal (33), ground balls (37), draw controls (30) and caused turnovers (18) in 19 games.

Tickle, a defender from Fairfax, Va., recorded three ground balls and two caused turnovers against High Point on Friday. In 19 games this season, Tickle notched career highs in both ground balls (53) and caused turnovers (27).

No. 1 seed and tournament host High Point defeated No. 2 seed Campbell, 19-5, in the title match of the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship on Sunday for its third women's lacrosse championship in program history.

Big South All-Tournament Team
Christina Del Sesto, High Point (MVP)
Darla Poulin, High Point
Emory Gaeng, High Point
Jill Rall, High Point
Melissa Placek, Campbell
Kayla Reilly, Campbell
Alex Salim, Campbell
Katie Clark, Winthrop
Katherine Judge, Winthrop
Courtney Brown, Liberty
Victoria Tickle, Liberty

Saturday, May 6, 2017

No. 4 Liberty Falls in Big South Conference Championship Semifinals to No. 1 High Point

No. 4 seed Liberty could not overcome an early 9-0 deficit, falling, 20-9, to No. 1 seed High Point in the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship semifinals, Friday at Vert Stadium.

The Lady Flames finish the season with a 6-13 record, while the Panthers improve to 14-3 overall with their 14th consecutive win. High Point will move on to Sunday's championship game at noon, where the Panthers will face the winner of this evening's contest between No. 2 Campbell (9-7) and No. 3 Winthrop (9-9).

Darla Poulin and Big South Offensive Player of the Year Samantha Brown paced High Point with five goals apiece, while sophomore Brianna McCaffrey netted four goals for Liberty.

High Point seized control from the opening whistle, racing out to a 9-0 lead in the game's first 9:02. Brown found Poulin for her first two tallies just 22 seconds apart, with the second goal giving the Panthers a 2-0 edge with 27:05 to play in the opening stanza.

Following a Liberty timeout, goals from the Panthers' Erica Perrotta and two tallies from Brooke Stevens extended the home lead to 5-0. Brown scored her 49th and 50th markers of the year to push the High Point lead to 7-0 with 22:02 remaining in the half. Ashley Britton and Emory Gaeng's first goals of the day staked the Panthers to a 9-0 advantage with 20:58 left on the first-half clock.

Liberty's first goal of the contest came from McCaffrey, her 37th of the year. McCaffrey created her own fastbreak opportunity and fired a low bouncing shot past Panthers goalkeeper Jill Rall and into the net to trim the deficit to 9-1 at the 18:07 mark.

Following Ashley Britton's second goal of the match, her sister Paige Britton, a Lady Flames midfielder, scored from the left side of the eight-meter arc, her 23rd of the year. The goal brought Liberty to within eight, 10-2, with 14:21 on the clock.

However, the Panthers closed the opening frame on a 5-2 run, fueled by Brown's third and fourth goals of the game. McCaffrey scored the Lady Flames' final two markers of the opening half, including her third of the contest with 37.1 seconds left. Liberty trailed, 15-4, at intermission after being outshot, 26-4.

Liberty played High Point to an even 5-5 score in the second half while holding a 7-5 edge in draw controls and tying the Panthers in shots, 12-12.

After Perrotta gave High Point a 12-goal lead (16-4) just 70 seconds into the second frame, McCaffrey and fellow sophomore Kayla Foster brought the score to 16-6 with a pair of goals. McCaffrey's marker was her 40th of the season, tied for the third-most goals in a single season in Liberty lacrosse history. Foster's 32nd tally of 2017 came with 25:38 remaining and brought her point total for the year to 65, the third most in a season in school history.

High Point's final four goals of the contest came from Poulin (2), Brown (1) and Allie Little (1). The Lady Flames' final three tallies came from the sticks of freshman Grace Fletcher and senior Courtney Brown. Fletcher scored a free-position goal with 17:51 left to make it 17-7.

Brown's pair of goals came in the final six minutes of play. She scored the first on a feed from Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti with 5:46 left, and her second of the match (18th of the season) came on a pass from Foster with 2:23 remaining to settle the final score at 20-9.

Liberty goalkeeper Katherine Widrick (5-8) made six saves in the first half while yielding 15 goals in the defeat. Aubrie Tarris played the second half in net for the Lady Flames, surrendering five goals while making four stops. Rall (13-0) was credited with the victory. The High Point freshman made four saves against nine goals.

High Point held advantages in shots (38-16) and ground balls (26-19) while committing fewer turnovers (19) than Liberty (31). The visiting Lady Flames won 16 draw controls, compared to 15 for the Panthers. Foster won a game-high nine draw controls for Liberty, while Widrick and Panthers midfielder Samantha Herman led their respective squads with four ground balls apiece.

2017 Women's Tennis Spring Season Recap

Following the conclusion of the spring season for Liberty women's tennis, LFSN reporter Alan York had an opportunity to recap the season with Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren.


The Lady Flames posted a 7-1 record in the Big South, this spring, earning a share of the conference's regular-season title for a second straight year. Liberty's season came to an end with a 4-3 loss to No. 2 seed Charleston Southern in the semifinals of the Big South Women's Tennis Championship, April 22 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

2017 Spring Season Highlights
  • Liberty defeated Charleston Southern, 4-3, on April 14 at the Cook Tennis Center. Tied 2-2, junior Evangeline Crist and freshman Eugenia Camacho earned three-set wins in their matches to seal the victory. The Lady Flames' victory clinched a share of the Big South Conference's regular-season crown for a second consecutive year. Under Head Coach Jeff Maren's leadership, the Lady Flames are 35-9 in conference play over the past five seasons.
  • Crist, a junior, and sophomore Anna Dollar were both named to the Big South Conference Second Team All-Conference Singles list. Crist became the fourth Lady Flame to make multiple appearances on the all-conference singles team during her career. Crist and Dollar's selections marked the fourth time in program history that multiple Lady Flames have earned all-conference honors for singles.
  • Liberty women's tennis senior Emily Groeneveld earned a spot on the Big South All-Academic team. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native owns a 3.95 GPA at the graduate level and is obtaining her master's degree in human services counseling: crisis response & trauma. She posted a 3.92 undergraduate GPA and completed a bachelor's degree in communications with emphasis on psychology and family and child development in the spring of 2016.
  • The Lady Flames were well-represented in the Big South Weekly Awards, this spring. Senior Mariely Hassey garnered Big South Women's Tennis Player of the Week selection in back-to-back weeks (Feb. 22, March 1), while Crist claimed the award on Feb. 8. Camacho was tabbed the Big South Women's Tennis Freshman of the Week on April 17.
  • Hassey and fellow senior Groeneveld closed out their Liberty careers with strong spring campaigns. Hassey won 15 singles matches during her final spring season, while Groeneveld won 13 singles bouts. The duo teamed up for 13 doubles triumphs, including an 8-2 mark in the No. 3 doubles flight.
  • Several Liberty players made major leaps up the Liberty women's tennis program record book. Hassey won 20 singles matches during the 2016-17 season to move into second place all-time in school history for singles victories (69). Crist captured 17 matches and now stands at No. 3 all-time in career singles victories (67) with one more season to play. Crist's 19 doubles victories bring her to 74 total, which is currently third-most in program history. She also has the fourth-best winning percentage in doubles (74-32, .698), followed by Dollar (45-22, .672), who won 20 more times in doubles as a sophomore. Finally, Groeneveld finished out her Liberty career ninth all-time in Liberty women's tennis history in doubles wins with 49.
  • The Lady Flames won seven of their final 10 matches to close out the season, including a pair of three-match winning streaks (East Carolina, Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb from March 24-31 and Charlotte, Campbell and Charleston Southern from April 10-14).
  • On Feb. 4, Liberty faced a 3-0 deficit to East Tennessee State before rallying to win the final four singles bouts and the match, 4-3. The early-season victory was the Lady Flames' first-ever over the Bucs in program history. ETSU was coming off a 20-3 season during the 2015-16 campaign.
  • Crist and Dollar were tabbed the No. 7 doubles team in the Oracle/ITA Division I Regional Rankings for the Atlantic Regional to start the new year. The pairing won 17 times during the 2016-17 season, including eight victories in the spring.
  • Liberty did not shy away from difficult competition, as the Lady Flames faced eight opponents inside the top 75 in the ITA rankings: No. 61 Louisville, No. 29 Wake Forest, No. 24 Tennessee, No. 67 Furman, No. 46 UCF, No. 28 Tulsa, No. 33 Maryland and No. 58 Winthrop.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Men's Tennis Spring Season Recap

With the spring season completed for the Liberty men's tennis team, LFSN reporter Alan York had a chance to recap the season and look to the future with Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Chris Johnson.


The Flames' season concluded with a loss in the quarterfinals of the Big South Men's Tennis Championship on April 19 to No. 1 seed and eventual Big South champion Presbyterian. 


2017 Spring Season Highlights
  • Flames freshman Chase Burton was selected to the Big South Conference First Team All-Conference Singles list. Burton's selection marks the eighth consecutive year a Liberty men's tennis player was chosen to the all-conference singles team. The native of Orlando, Fla., won a team-best 13 matches in the spring, including an 8-3 mark at the No. 1 singles flight.
  • Burton and fellow freshman Vince Salas were both recognized in the Big South Weekly Awards, this spring. Burton garnered back-to-back Big South Freshman of the Week honors (Feb. 2, Feb. 8), while Salas merited selection on March 22.
  • Burton finished 5-2 in Big South singles competition and won eight of his last 11 singles bouts to close out his first year in a Liberty uniform.
  • Liberty junior captain Diego Castano earned a spot on the Big South All-Academic team. The Statesville, N.C., native owns a 3.14 GPA and is majoring in business administration. Castano won a team-best 21 doubles matches during the 2016-17 campaign to go along with 15 singles triumphs.
  • After dropping their opening match to Valparaiso on their spring break trip in Orlando, the Flames won their next three matches on the trip. They defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3, on March 13, followed by a pair of 6-1 victories over Fairfield and Saint Joseph's in a doubleheader, March 15.
  • Liberty pulled out a narrow 4-3 victory at George Mason on Feb. 10. Locked in a 3-3 tie, Flames sophomore Max Borcuti overcame a first-set loss to win in three sets against Giuliano Buzoianu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, and secure a Liberty victory.
  • The Flames finished above .500 (30-29) in doubles during the spring. Head coach Chris Johnson's most successful unit was Burton and Borcuti, who posted nine against seven losses. The duo was 7-4 in the No. 3 slot in the lineup.
  • The doubles tandem of Castano and sophomore Ryker Heller won all three doubles matches they played in. The pairing prevailed three Big South doubles contests – at Radford (April 9), at Winthrop (April 11) and at UNC Asheville (April 13).
  • Liberty men's tennis started the spring season 2-0 after collecting a pair of victories over King and Bluefield State, Jan. 28 at Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg. Burton and sophomore captain Eddie Gutierrez both collected two singles victories and two doubles victories apiece on that day.
  • Gutierrez provided stability in the middle of the lineup for the Flames. The sophomore captain posted an 8-6 record playing in the No. 2-4 positions in the Liberty singles lineup.

No. 4 Lady Flames Primed for BSC Championship Semifinal vs. No. 1 Panthers

2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship Bracket 

Liberty, the No. 4 seed in the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, will square off with No. 1 seed High Point in a semifinal showdown on Friday. First draw is set for 4 p.m. at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C.

The Lady Flames (6-12) reached the semifinals following a 20-13 win over Longwood, last Saturday in Lynchburg, while High Point (13-3) earned a bye to the semifinal round. The Panthers finished 7-0 in Big South regular-season play to receive the top seed in the tournament.

No. 2 seed Campbell (9-7) will meet No. 3 seed Winthrop (9-9) in the other semifinal matchup at 7 p.m. on Friday evening at Vert Stadium. The Eagles advanced to the semifinals with a 20-10 victory over No. 6 seed Radford this past Sunday in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game will be held on Sunday at noon at Vert Stadium.


Series History vs. High Point
The Lady Flames are 1-6 all-time against the Panthers. Their lone win in the series occurred on April 17, 2015, a 16-15 overtime win in Lynchburg.

Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship History
Liberty is 3-4 all-time in the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. Two of those victories came in 2015, when the Lady Flames advanced to the title game, while the other occurred last Saturday versus Longwood in Lynchburg.

This year's No. 1 seed, High Point, won back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Winthrop, the No. 3 seed, will be looking for its third straight title, after winning the conference championship in 2015 and 2016.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Friday's semifinal contest will be carried live on the Big South Network. Find the link for the broadcast on the Liberty lacrosse schedule/results panel on LibertyFlames.com.

Live stats for the contest will be available on the lacrosse schedule/results panel. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for updates from Vert Stadium on Friday and for live in-game updates throughout the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.

The championship match will be carried live on ESPN3 on Sunday.

Six Liberty Players Recognized by Big South
The Lady Flames lacrosse program featured six seniors named to the Big South All-Conference list, last week by the conference.

Freshman Carly White was tabbed the Big South Women's Lacrosse Freshman of the Year, joining teammate Kayla Foster, who received the honor in 2016. White tallied 17 goals, eight assists and 25 points in seven league matches.

Foster and seniors Courtney Brown and Victoria Tickle were named to the Big South All-Conference second team. Sophomore Brianna McCaffrey and senior Lindsey McNamara both received Big South All-Conference honorable mention. Finally, Brown was chosen to the Big South All-Academic team for her efforts in the classroom.

Lady Flames News and Notes
  • Liberty is No. 3 in the country in both caused turnovers per game (12.61) and ground balls per game (23.67). The Lady Flames are first in the Big South in both categories.
  • Foster paces the squad in assists (32, No. 32 in nation) and points (63). She is tied for fourth in the conference in assists per game (1.82). Foster (114 career points) is tied for fifth place in program history in career points. The sophomore is also the all-time program leader in assists (61) and needs just two assists to break the single-season mark for a Liberty player (Morgan Becker, 33 in 2015).
  • Sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey leads Liberty in goals (36), draw controls (77) and shots (116). McCaffrey is fifth in the conference and 40th nationally in draw controls per game (4.28) and tied for first in the conference in shots per game (6.44).
  • Foster and McCaffrey both set new career highs with five goals apiece in last Saturday's 20-13 victory over Longwood.
  • Liberty senior defender Victoria Tickle paces the team with 50 ground balls and is 39th in DI in ground balls per game (2.78) and third in the Big South. Tickle is seventh all-time in program history with 99 ground balls and seventh in caused turnovers (55).
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick places fourth in the Big South in goals-against average (12.99) and fourth in save percentage (.384). She has 99 saves this season and is third all-time in Liberty lacrosse history with 191 saves.
  • Freshmen have been key contributors for the Lady Flames, this spring. Carly White paces the first-year group with 25 goals and 43 points, while Grace Fletcher (18) Hannah Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (9) and Nikki Stumpf (5) have all made their marks as first-year players. White, the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Freshman of the Year, has 36 points in her last six contests, including a pair of seven-point performances during her last two games.
Scouting High Point
The Panthers enter the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship riding the nation's second-longest winning streak, 13 games. High Point topped Liberty, 25-7, on April 15 in Lynchburg. High Point ranks fifth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (12.44) and assists (8.06), sixth in points per game (23.56) and shots per game (35.75), ninth in scoring offense (15.50) 10th in scoring margin (5.75) and 12th in ground balls per game (21.63).

Offensively, Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year Samantha Brown (48 g, 18 g, 66 pts) leads the attack, while Brooke Stevens (34 g, 26 a, 60 pts) and Darla Poulin (41 g, 17 a, 58 pts) will warrant the attention of the Liberty defense.

Big South Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year Christina Del Sesto (34 gb, 25 ct, 18 dc) anchors the Panthers' defense, while Erica Perrotta (30 g, 22 a, 52 pts, 38 gb, 28 ct) contributes both defensively and on the attack for High Point.

Goalkeeper Jill Rall brings an untarnished 12-0 mark into the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. The freshman is first in the Big South in goals-against average (8.09) by nearly four goals per game and is second in the conference in save percentage (.407).

How Liberty Stacks Up Against the Remaining Big South Teams in the Championship
No. 2 Campbell
The Camels are known for their prowess in the draw circle and for limiting turnovers. Campbell wins 14.88 draw controls per game, good for 12th-best in the country. The Camels only commit 15.81 turnovers per game, which is 27th fewest in DI.

In the two teams' regular-season matchup, Liberty took an 11-10 lead on a White goal with 56.5 ticks remaining on April 8, before Campbell scored the equalizer with 27 seconds left and eventual overtime winner 2:07 into the extra session for a 12-11 victory.

Key offensive players: Kayla Reilly (26 g, 38 a, 64 pts), Melissa Placek (42 g, 11 a, 53 pts), Mackenzie Koeller (34 g, 9 a, 43 pts)
Key defensive players: Amanda Chasin (30 gb, 14 ct), Erin O'Hara (23 gb, 11 ct)
Goalkeeper: Merredith Bechler: (8-5, 12.31 GAA, 109 SV, .394 SV Pct.)
No. 3 Winthrop
 
Winthrop, the two-time defending Big South Champion, is currently on a six-match winning streak. The Eagles defeated the Lady Flames, 18-13, April 22 at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Eagles boast one of the top scorers in the nation in Nicole Beatson. Beatson is 16th in the nation with 56 goals and sixth with 88 points while ranking No. 1 in free-position percentage (.778). Winthrop was 9-of-11 in free-position shots against Liberty in the regular-season meeting.

Key offensive players: Nicole Beatson (56 g, 32 a, 88 pts, 51 dc), Katherine Judge (43 g, 101 dc), Kristen Shriver (32 g, 31 a, 63 pts)
Key defensive players: Katherine Judge (47 gb, 36 ct) Chloe Wormsley (49 gb, 8 ct)
Goalkeeper: Chloe Wormsley (8-9, 12.06 GAA, 120 SV, .356 SV Pct.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dominant Effort Lifts No. 4 Liberty Past No. 5 Longwood, 20-13, in Big South Quarterfinals

A dominant outing from the fourth-seeded Liberty lacrosse team propelled them to a 20-13 victory over fifth-seeded Longwood in a quarterfinal game of the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, Saturday at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.


Kayla Foster and Brianna McCaffrey both set new career highs with five goals apiece, while Big South Freshman of the Year Carly White recorded a four-goal, three-assist game in a winning effort.

With the win, the Lady Flames (6-12) advance to the semifinals of the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, where they will face top seed and host High Point (13-3), Friday at 4 p.m. at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C.


"I'm incredibly proud of this group and how they worked and prepared for this game. We've been locked in and focused all week, and it showed today," said Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We executed and took care of the gaps of the game, we kept our composure and played a full 60 minutes. We are excited to be playing in May and to get back to work this week!"

The Lancers (7-11) see their 2017 season come to an end, as Liberty was victorious in both matchups between the two squads, this spring. Cassie Angeles paced the visitors with four goals, while Kaitlin Luccarelli recorded a hat trick and two assists.

Liberty took command of the contest from the opening whistle, beginning the afternoon on a 4-1 run. The Lady Flames' Lindsey McNamara forced the Lancers' Riley Dolan into a turnover early in the contest and scooped up the ground ball. The ball eventually found the stick of senior Courtney Brown, who fed Foster for her first tally of the day, giving Liberty a 1-0 lead with 28:06 to play in the half.

White buried her first goal of the day, assisted by Paige Britton, to push the Liberty lead to 2-0 at the 25:24 mark. Following a goal from Longwood's Stephanie Roberts, White scored back-to-back tallies to reach a hat trick in just 8:32. Her third goal of the day came with a defender draped on her and put the hosts ahead, 4-1, with 21:28 left in the opening stanza.

The Lancers scored two of the next three goals, as Andie deCelis (free-positon shot) and Kaitlin Luccarelli brought the deficit down to two, 5-3, with 15:34 on the first half clock.

The Lady Flames distanced themselves again from the Lancers, this time with a 4-0 spurt, including goals from Foster (2), Brown (1) and Paige Britton (1). Britton's tally, her 22nd of the season and seventh in two games versus Longwood this season, staked Liberty to a 9-3 lead with 7:47 left in the half.

Longwood's Angeles delivered a pair of goals while Dolan scored her first of the day to bring the visitors back within three, 9-6, with 3:07 left in the first stanza.

Freshman Grace Fletcher, who had been thwarted on a couple of occasions by Lancers' goalkeeper Imani West, including on a breakaway attempt, finally found the back of the net with 2:00 remaining in the half. After Fletcher was fouled by Corri Calandra, the Commonwealth native calmly fired a low strike from a free-position spot past West for her 18th goal of the year. Fletcher's goal sent the Lady Flames into the break with a 10-6 edge.

Liberty redshirt sophomore Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti provided a spark off the bench for the Lady Flames in the early stages of the second half. Following White's fourth goal of the day to put Liberty up five (11-6), the native of New Jersey found McCaffrey for a goal.

Following the assist, Cassidy-Fischetti scored the next two markers, her sixth and seventh of the season. Her second goal of the day, which came off a Paige Britton pass, provided Liberty a 14-6 lead with 22:57 left in the match. Britton found a cutting Cassidy-Fischetti, who received the pass and buried a shot into the top left corner.

Back-to-back tallies from Molly Barkman and Angeles narrowed the gap to 14-8 at the 20:18 marker. The Lady Flames answered with a 3-1 run, aided by a pair of tallies from McCaffrey, who scored all five of her goals after intermission. The first goal McCaffrey run was a backhanded shovel shot in heavy traffic.

McCaffrey's second goal in that stretch came after she forced Maddie Rollins to turn the ball over near the sideline. Once the sophomore received possession, she darted into the Lancers' zone and ripped a shot from inside the eight-meter arc past West, pushing the Liberty lead to 17-8 with 13:36 to go.

Longwood outscored Liberty, 5-3, during the final 10:36 of play, highlighted by goals from Luccarelli (2), Angeles (1), Lexi Davis (1) and Barkman (2).

Liberty's last three markers came from McCaffrey (2) and Foster. Foster's fifth and final goal of the day came on a powerful forehand shot with 3:19 remaining, while McCaffrey forced Hollyn Royster into a turnover in her own zone.

She collected the ensuing ground ball and notched her fifth goal of the day and team-leading 36th of the year with 1:35 left to bump the lead to 20-12.

Luccarrelli's final tally of the day, her 38th of the season, settled the final score at 20-13 in favor of Liberty

Liberty goalkeepers Katherine Widrick (5-7) and Aubrie Tarris split time in net for the home side. Widrick was credited with her fifth win of the year. Both goalies made one save apiece. Imani West (6-9) recorded 12 saves in goal but was saddled with the loss.

The Lady Flames outshot the Lancers, 46-17, on the day. The 17 shots by Longwood were the fewest Liberty has allowed in any game, this season, while Liberty's 46 shots were the third-most for the team in 2017. Liberty also held advantages in both ground balls (27-14), caused turnovers (18-9) and draw controls (18-17). White played a big role in that, scooping up a game-best six ground balls, recording a game-high four caused turnovers, and winning a team-high three draws.

White matched career highs for goals (4) and points (7) on Saturday afternoon. The native of Marietta, Ga., has totaled 37 points (23 g, 14 a) in her last nine contests.

Should No. 4 Liberty defeat No. 1 High Point on Friday, they would advance to the Big South title game for the second time in program history.

In the other half of the bracket, No. 2 Campbell (9-7) is still awaiting the winner of No. 3 Winthrop (8-9) vs. No. 6 Radford (6-10), which will be contested tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. Campbell will face either Winthrop or Radford at 7 p.m., Friday night at Vert Stadium, with the winner earning a berth in the championship game.

The Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game will be held on May 7 at noon at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

Friday, April 28, 2017

6 Players Earn Big South All-Conference Recognition

The Liberty women's lacrosse program had six players garner Big South All-Conference recognition in the league's release of annual award winners, Thursday afternoon.

For a second straight year, a Liberty player has been named the Big South Conference Women's Lacrosse Freshman of the Year. Freshman Carly White was honored as the Big South Freshman of the Year, joining Kayla Foster, who received the honor in 2016.

Foster, senior Courtney Brown and senior Victoria Tickle were selected to the Big South All-Conference second team, while sophomore Brianna McCaffrey and senior Lindsey McNamara both received Big South All-Conference honorable mention.

Six Lady Flames garnered Big South All-Conference recognition in the league's release of annual award winners.
"I'm really proud of these girls and all the work they have put in this year. It's a testament to the type of players and people these young ladies are to be selected to postseason honors," stated Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle. "We are excited to begin this new chapter of the season!"

Carly White
White, a native of Marietta, Ga., performed exceptionally in seven Big South regular-season contests. The freshman compiled 17 goals, eight assists and 25 points in those matches. The two best efforts of her season came in Big South play against Campbell and Winthrop.

Against Campbell on April 8, the midfielder scored a career-high four goals to go along with an assist, five ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers. Last Saturday at Winthrop, she matched a career-best with four goals and added three assists for a career-high seven points. White also contributed two caused turnovers, two ground balls and two ground balls on the afternoon.

In 17 games this season, White is tied for third on the team in goals (21), second in assists (15) and third in points (36). The native of Georgia has also contributed 33 ground balls, 21 caused turnovers and 19 draw controls.

Kayla Foster
Foster, who was the Big South Freshman of the Year in 2016, makes her second straight appearance on the Big South All-Conference second team.

The native of Sewickley, Pa., led Liberty with 34 points in seven Big South Contests (15 goals, 19 assists). Foster's signature performance came on April 12 at Gardner-Webb. On that day, she broke the Liberty lacrosse single-game program record for assists (8) and points (11).

Through 17 contests this spring, Foster is second on the squad in goals (26), first in assists (31) and first in points (57). The sophomore has 108 points in 35 games, placing her sixth all-time in school history for career points.

Courtney Brown
Brown, a senior midfielder from Ladera Ranch, Calif., has put together the best year, statistically, of her four-year Liberty career in being selected to the all-conference second team for the first time in her career.

In 17 regular-season contests, Brown tallied 15 goals, nine assists, 24 points, 32 ground balls, 26 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers. The senior contributed nine goals, four assists and 13 points in Big South action, this spring. Brown's top two performance both came in conference play. She poured in a career-high four goals at Gardner-Webb on April 12 and scored three times on Senior Night, April 19 versus Radford.

Brown was also named to the Big South All-Academic team for her efforts in the classroom. She holds a cumulative GPA of 3.64 and will graduate with a degree in industrial & systems engineering.

Victoria Tickle
Tickle, a senior defender, has anchored the defense during her final season with the Lady Flames in earning all-conference second team distinction for the first time in her Liberty career. The native of Fairfax, Va., leads the squad with 50 ground balls and places 29th nationally in ground balls per game (2.94). Tickle also paces the team with 25 caused turnovers, while she has compiled 19 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in seven Big South contests.

The senior's best performance of her career came eight days ago on Senior Night at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. Tickle recorded six caused turnovers and corralled six ground balls versus Radford, both career highs. Her six forced turnovers was the second-highest output by any Lady Flame in program history.

Tickle ranks seventh all-time in program history in both ground balls (99) and caused turnovers (55) in 48 career matches.

Brianna McCaffrey
McCaffrey, the team's leading scorer with 31 goals, makes her second consecutive appearance among the Big South's annual award winners after being named second team all-conference in 2016. The sophomore attacker scored 15 of her 31 markers in league play, including a four-goal effort at Presbyterian in Liberty's Big South opener (April 8) and a pair of three-goal efforts against Longwood (April 5) and Radford (April 19).

McCaffrey ranks first on the team in draw controls (75) and shots (103) and second in points (40) and caused turnovers (24). The Boca Raton, Fla., native's work in the draw circle puts her at fifth in the Big South and 37th in the country in draw controls per game (4.41).

Lindsey McNamara
McNamara, a junior defender hailing from Orlando, Fla., makes her first career appearance among the Big South's annual award winners. The junior has started all 17 games for Liberty, compiling 21 caused turnovers (tied for third on the team) and 22 ground balls. She has exhibited dominance in the midfield throughout the season, often carrying the ball out of the Lady Flames' zone during clear attempts.

McNamara started the year on a strong note, putting together a pair of three-ground ball, three-caused turnover efforts at No. 8 Notre Dame and Butler, Feb. 10 and 12. She matched those performances with three ground balls and three caused turnovers in a 21-7 victory at Gardner-Webb on April 12.

Other Award Winners and Postseason Preview
High Point, the top seed for the upcoming 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, won three of the conference's major awards handed down. Attacker Samantha Brown was tabbed the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, while Christina Del Sesto was voted the Big South Defensive Player of the Year. High Point Lacrosse Head Coach Lyndsey Boswell was named the Big South Coach of the year.

Campbell attacker Mackenzie Koeller was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
No. 4 seed Liberty will begin 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship play with a quarterfinal contest No. 5 seed Longwood, Saturday at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. The victor will move on to face No. 1 seed High Point on May 5 at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. The Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game will take place at noon on May 7 at High Point's Vert Stadium.

First Team All-Conference
ATT     Samantha Brown, Sr., High Point
ATT     Nicole Beatson, Jr., Winthrop
ATT     Kayla Reilly, Jr., Campbell
MF       Katherine Judge, Jr., Winthrop
MF       Melissa Placek, Soph., Campbell
MF       Erica Perrotta, Jr., High Point
MF       Carly White, Fr., Liberty
MF       Molly Barkman, Fr., Longwood
D         Christina Del Sesto, Sr., High Point
D         Maura Talvacchia, Sr., Presbyterian College
D         Paige Jenkins, Sr., Winthrop
GK       Merredith Bechler, Sr., Campbell
AL        Emma Rogers, MF, Soph., Radford
AL        Samantha Herman, MF, Soph., High Point
AL        Ashley Britton, MF, Fr., High Point

Second Team All-Conference
ATT    Kayla Foster, Soph., Liberty
ATT     Brooke Stevens, Jr., High Point
ATT     Kristen Shriver, Jr., Winthrop
MF       Kaitlin Luccarelli, Fr., Longwood
MF       Courtney Brown, Sr., Liberty
MF       Stephanie Roberts, Soph., Longwood
MF       Callie Bonnel, Soph., Radford
MF       Abby Hanscom, Soph., Gardner-Webb
D         Erin O'Hara, Sr., Campbell
D         Victoria Tickle, Sr., Liberty
D         Maddie Rollins, Sr., Longwood
GK       Jill Rall, Fr., High Point
AL        Megan Reilly, D, Jr., Campbell
AL        Olivia Nostrant, D, Jr., High Point
AL        Lindsey Carroll, ATT, Fr., Radford

Honorable Mention All-Conference
ATT     Amanda Steinmuller, Jr., Gardner-Webb
ATT    Brianna McCaffrey, Soph., Liberty
GK       Imani West, Jr., Longwood
D         Lindsey McNamara, Jr., Liberty
ATT     Mackenzie Koeller, Jr., Campbell

All-Academic Team
Mackenzie Koeller, Jr., ATT, Campbell
Emma Rose, Sr., ATT, Gardner-Webb
Samantha Brown, Sr., ATT, High Point
Courtney Brown, Sr., MF, Liberty
Riley Dolan, Jr., ATT, Longwood
Maura Talvacchia, Sr., D, Presbyterian College
Adrian Rius, Soph., ATT, Radford
Katherine Judge, Jr., MF, Winthrop

Offensive Player of the Year
Samantha Brown, Sr., ATT, High Point

Defensive Player of the Year
Christina Del Sesto, Sr., D, High Point

Freshman of the Year
Carly White, Fr., MF, Liberty

Coach of the Year
Lyndsey Boswell, High Point

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Mackenzie Koeller, Jr., ATT, Campbell

Women's Tennis Adds Medina and Soares in 2017-18 Class

Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren has announced the additions of transfers Maria Medina and Lara Soares for the 2017-18 academic year.

Medina (left) and Soares (right) will be joining the Liberty women's tennis program starting in the 2017-18 academic year.
Medina, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, will be transferring from State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. She holds a 10 Universal Tennis player rating (UTR) and has been ranked No. 1 in the country in both singles and doubles for most of her two years at State College of Florida.

Medina was ranked as high as No. 862 in singles on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) pro tour before attending State College.

"Time made me realize that there is no place like Liberty University," Medina stated. "I am excited about my commitment with such an exceptional school and can't wait to join the Liberty Flames family!"

Soares, a native of Sobradinho, Brazil, is currently finishing her second year at NCAA DII Southwest Baptist in Missouri. As a freshman, Soares played in the No. 1-3 singles flights, going 22-0. In doubles, Soares posted a 25-2 mark as a first-year player and helped lead SBU to a No. 12 national ranking.

"I am really excited to join the Liberty family. After visiting the university, I had no doubt about how this opportunity would be great for me," Soares said. "Liberty has an excellent program for student-athletes, and it also provides the best facilities. I believe coach Maren, coach Lemmi and all the girls will help me achieve my goals, and I will do my best to contribute to the success of our team!"

This year, Soares is currently 15-6 overall in the No. 1 slot in the lineup and is 20-2 at No. 1 doubles. The Southwest Baptist Bearcats currently sit at No. 16 in the NCAA DII rankings and will be playing in the national tournament, next week.

Soares was also ranked as high as No. 633 on the ITF World Junior circuit prior to attending Southwest Baptist.

"We are very excited to welcome Maria and Lara to our Flames family! They will bring a wealth of experience to our program and are both gifted with mental toughness, which will aid us in our pursuit of conference championships and national rankings," Maren stated.

No. 2 Charleston Southern Edges No. 3 Liberty, 4-3, in Big South Semifinals

The Big South's No. 2 seed, Charleston Southern, overcame a late 3-2 deficit to top No. 3 Liberty, 4-3, Saturday in the 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship semifinals at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

Trailing 3-2, the Bucs prevailed in the No. 2 and No. 5 singles matches for the victory. Charleston Southern's Sophie Cloessner tied the match at 3-3 with a two-set victory over Evangeline Crist (6-4, 6-3). In the No. 5 match, Valeria Koussenkova came back from a 5-1 deficit in the third set to defeat Emily Groeneveld, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), and win the match for CSU.

Charleston Southern (17-2) will move on to face No. 1 seed Winthrop (18-5) in tomorrow's championship match at noon. The Eagles bested No. 5 seed UNC Asheville, 4-0, in Saturday's other semifinal match in Winston-Salem. With the loss, Liberty (12-12), who shared the Big South regular-season crown with Charleston Southern and Winthrop, sees its 2016-17 season come to an end.

"I'm proud of how hard our girls battled today. They laid it on the line and put themselves in position to win the match," stated Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce our way. It's the sad part of sports. But win or lose, we will continue to give God the glory. He is the reason we can play this game, and we'll be forever thankful for his leadership of our team."

The Bucs took the doubles point from the Lady Flames despite losing the first match to wrap up on court three. Liberty's senior tandem of Mariely Hassey and Emily Groeneveld knocked off Yana Morar and Kimberly Koerner on court three for the second time in eight days, this time winning, 6-2, for their fifth straight doubles win.

The turning point in that No. 3 match came with Liberty leading 3-2 but down, 40-0, in the next game. Hassey and Groeneveld rallied all the way back to break CSU's serve and take a 4-2 lead. The ensuing game also went to a deuce point, in which's Morar's shot sallied long, giving the Lady Flames a 5-2 edge. Hassey and Groeneveld closed out Morar and Koerner in the next game.

The No. 2 match featuring Liberty's Anna Dollar and Evangeline Crist and CSU's Mi'Kola Cooper and Valeria Koussenkova came down to the wire. The Lady Flames led, 3-2, early on before the Bucs won the next three to close in on victory. Dollar and Crist won the next game to make it 5-4, but CSU captured the 10th game of the set to win. Koussenkova's crosscourt backhanded shot from in front of the net gave her and Cooper a 6-4 triumph.

In the No. 1 match between Liberty's Rebekah Anderson/Eugenio Camacho and CSU's Sophie Cloessner/Nicolin Luecke, the Bucs' duo built a 5-2 lead before Anderson and Camacho closed the gap. Anderson served the Lady Flames back to 5-4, but CSU won the deciding point in the final game to capture the match, 6-4. Cloessner and Luecke's victory lifted the Bucs to a 1-0 advantage.

Needing to take four of six singles bouts to advance to the championship, Liberty fell into a 2-0 hole after Luecke ousted Anderson, 7-5, 6-0, in the No. 1 singles flight.

The Lady Flames responded from the early deficit with victories on courts four, six and three. Hassey notched her 20th singles victory of the year, upending Koerner in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) in the No. 4 match. The Liberty senior's victory trimmed the CSU lead in half, 2-1.

Hassey won at both doubles and singles, Saturday vs. Charleston Southern.
Camacho delivered a match-tying victory in the No. 6 singles match, taking down Morar, 6-4, 6-1. Dollar delivered on court three for Liberty, giving the Lady Flames their first lead of the day, 3-2, with a straight-sets, 6-3, 6-3, victory over Cooper.

Cloessner and Koussenkova's victories over Crist and Groeneveld allowed the Bucs to beat the Lady Flames and enact revenge from the two teams' meeting eight days ago. Liberty topped CSU, 4-3, last Friday at the Cook Tennis Center in Lynchburg to give the Bucs their only Big South loss of 2017 and snap a 14-match winning streak that CSU held up to that point.

2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship Preview


No. 4 seed Liberty will open the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 5 seed Longwood on Saturday at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

The Lady Flames, who were selected to finish fourth in the conference's preseason poll, posted a 4-3 mark in Big South regular-season competition, while the Lancers finished fifth at 3-4, after winning their final two league contests.


The winner of Saturday's noon quarterfinal match will move on to face tournament host and No. 1 seed High Point (13-3) on May 5 at 4 p.m. The Panthers will host the semifinals and finals of the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship on May 5 and 7.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 3 seed Winthrop (8-9) will host No. 6 seed Radford (6-10) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C. The victor of that contest will move on to meet No. 2 seed Campbell (9-7) in a 7 p.m. semifinal game on May 5 at High Point.

The Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship title game will be held at noon on May 7 at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C.

Series History vs. Longwood
The Lady Flames hold a 2-6 record all-time against the Lancers. Liberty upended Longwood, 18-8, in the two teams' regular-season meeting on April 5 in Farmville, Va.

In that contest, redshirt sophomore Paige Britton notched a career-high six goals, while Liberty distanced itself from Longwood with a 13-0 run spanning the tail end of the first half and most of the second half.

The Lady Flames and Lancers have never met in a postseason match.

Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship History
Liberty is 2-4 all-time in the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. Both of those victories came in 2015, when the Lady Flames advanced to the title game that year.

This year's No. 1 seed High Point won back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Winthrop, the No. 3 seed, will be looking for its third straight title, after winning the conference championship in 2015 and 2016.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
The Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) will be broadcasting Saturday afternoon's contest in Lynchburg on the Big South Network. Find the link for the live video stream on the lacrosse schedule/results panel on LibertyFlames.com.

Live stats for the contest will be available on the lacrosse schedule/results panel. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for updates from the Liberty Lacrosse Field and for live in-game updates throughout the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.

If the Lady Flames advance past the quarterfinal round, their May 5 semifinal match will be streamed live on the Big South network. The championship match will be carried live on ESPN3 on May 7.

Big South Regular Season Recap
Big South Conference tames concluded regular season competition, last Saturday. Here's a look at the final regular season standings:
Team Conference Overall
High Point 7-0 13-3
Campbell 6-1 9-7
Winthrop 5-2 8-9
Liberty 4-3 5-12
Longwood 3-4 7-10
Radford 2-5 6-10
Presbyterian 1-6 2-14
Gardner-Webb 0-7 0-17

Liberty defeated Longwood, Radford, Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb during the regular season. The Lady Flames lost a 12-11 overtime contest against Campbell on April 8 and also fell to High Point and Winthrop in league play.

Liberty was well-represented in the Big South Weekly Awards. Kayla Foster was tabbed the Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 14, while Hannah Quast collected Big South Freshman of the Week honors on that same day.

Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick was voted as the Big South Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week on April 4, while midfielder Carly White was named the Big South Freshman of the Week on April 11. 
                               
Lady Flames News and Notes
  • Liberty is No. 4 in the country in ground balls per game (23.47) and No. 5 in caused turnovers per game (12.29). The Lady Flames are first and second in the Big South in the two categories.
  • Foster paces the squad in assists (31, No. 27 in nation) and points (57). She is tied for fourth in the conference in assists per game (1.82). Foster (108 career points) needs seven more points to move into fifth place all-time in school history for total points. The Sewickley, Pa., native is No. 1 in program history in career assists per game (1.71).
  • The Lady Flames averaged 14.43 goals per game in seven Big South Conference regular season contests.
  • Sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey leads Liberty in goals (31), draw controls (75) and shots (103). McCaffrey is fifth in the conference and 37th nationally in draw controls per game (4.41) and third in the conference in shots per game (6.06).
  • Liberty senior defender Victoria Tickle paces the team with 50 ground balls and is 29th in DI in ground balls per game (2.94) and third in the Big South. Tickle is seventh all-time in program history with 99 ground balls and seventh in caused turnovers (55)
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick places fourth in the Big South in goals-against average (13.03) and fourth in save percentage (.390). She has 98 saves this season and third all-time in Liberty lacrosse history with 190 saves.
  • Liberty freshmen have performed well for the Lady Flames, this spring. Carly White paces the first-year group with 21 goals and 36 points, while Grace Fletcher (17) Hannah Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (8) and Nikki Stumpf (5) have all made their marks as first-year players.
  • Redshirt sophomore Paige Britton and McCaffrey each have seven free-position goals this season, the sixth-most for any player in a single season in school history. Britton has notched all seven of her free-position talies in the last six games while scoring 15 total goals in that span.
Scouting Longwood
Three Longwood freshmen have eclipsed 40 points this year, led by Kaitlin Luccarelli's team-best 50 points (35 g, 15 a). Molly Barkman (25 g, 18 a, 43 pts) and Lexi Davis (10 g, 33 a, 43 pts) are the other two freshmen over 40 points, while sophomore Stephanie Roberts leads head coach Elaine Jones' squad with 40 goals, tied for sixth-most in the Big South. Davis is third in the Big South and 33rd in the country in assists per game (2.06)

The Lancers are most proficient in shot percentage (.496, No. 3 in nation), assists (7.35/game, No. 12 in nation) and ground balls (20.12/game, No. 28 in nation). Davis ranks No. 5 in the nation in shot percentage (.625).

Goalkeeper Imani West (6-8, 14.74 GAA, .411 SV Pct.) is 42nd in DI with 130 total saves and leads the squad with 42 ground balls.

How Liberty Stacks Up Against the Other Big South Teams in the Championship
No. 1 High Point
The Panthers enter the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship riding the nation's second-longest winning streak, 13 games. High Point topped Liberty, 25-7, on April 15 in Lynchburg. The Panthers are fourth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (12.44), fifth in points (23.56), assists (8.06) and shots per game (35.75), sixth in scoring offense (15.50) 10th in scoring margin (5.75) and 12th in ground balls per game (21.63).

Key offensive players: Samantha Brown (48 g, 18 a, 66 pts), Brooke Stevens (34 g, 26 a, 60- pts), Darla Poulin (41 g, 17 a, 58 pts)
Key defensive players: Erica Perrotta (30 g, 22 a, 52 pts, 38 gb, 28 ct), Christina Del Sesto (34 gb, 25 ct)
Goalkeeper: Jill Rall (12-0, 8.09 GAA, 70 SV, .407 SV Pct.)
No. 2 Campbell
The Camels are known for their prowess in the draw circle and for limiting turnovers. Campbell wins 14.88 draw controls per game, good for 11th-best in the country. The Camels only commit 15.81 turnovers per game, which is 25th lowest in DI.

In the two teams' regular-season matchup, Liberty took an 11-10 lead on a White goal with 56.5 ticks remaining on April 8, before Campbell scored the equalizer with 27 seconds left and eventual overtime winner 2:07 into the extra session for a 12-11 victory.

Key offensive players: Kayla Reilly (26 g, 38 a, 64 pts), Melissa Placek (42 g, 11 a, 53 pts), Mackenzie Koeller (34 g, 9 a, 43 pts)
Key defensive players: Amanda Chasin (30 gb, 14 ct), Erin O'Hara (23 gb, 11 ct)
Goalkeeper: Merredith Bechler: (8-5, 12.31 GAA, 109 SV, .394 SV Pct.)
No. 3 Winthrop
Winthrop, the two-time defending Big South Champion, closed regular season play on a five-game winning streak, including victories over Gardner-Webb and Liberty, last week. The Eagles defeated the Lady Flames, 18-13, last Saturday at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Eagles boast one of the top scorers in the nation in Nicole Beatson. Beatson is 17th in the country with 51 goals and seventh in the nation with 82 points while ranking No. 1 in free-position percentage (.826). Winthrop was 9-of-11 in free-position shots against Liberty in the regular-season meeting.

Key offensive players: Nicole Beatson (51 g, 31 a, 82 pts, 46 dc), Katherine Judge (40 g, 92 dc), Kristen Shriver (31 g, 28 a, 59 pts)
Key defensive players: Katherine Judge (45 gb, 33 ct) Chloe Wormsley (47 gb, 8 ct)
Goalkeeper: Chloe Wormsley (7-9, 12.18 GAA, 107 SV, .341 SV Pct.)

No. 6 Radford
The Lady Flames topped the Highlanders, 13-10, on Senior Night at the Liberty Lacrosse Field, April 19. On that night, Brown led Liberty with three goals, while senior Victoria Tickle anchored the defense with six caused turnovers and six ground balls.

The Highlanders are second in the Big South in both scoring offense (13.25) and ground balls per game (22.00) while ranking 29th and 9th in the nation in those categories.

Key offensive players: Emma Rogers (47 g, 18 a, 65 pts), Lindsay Carroll (23 g, 37 a, 60 pts), Callie Bonnel (34 g, 8 a, 42 pts)
Key defensive players: Shea Swingle (43 gb, 27 ct), Emily Kowalik (39 gb, 15 ct)
Goalkeepers: Jenny Davis (4-5, 13.08 GAA, 105 SV, .491 SV Pct.), Maddie Mashewske (2-5, 15.26 GAA, 67 SV, .364 SV Pct.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lady Flames Seeded Fourth for 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship

2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship Bracket

The Liberty women's lacrosse team was pegged as the No. 4 seed for the upcoming 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.

Liberty is the No. 4 seed in the upcoming 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship.
The Lady Flames (5-12, 4-3 Big South), who were also picked to place fourth in the Big South Conference preseason poll, finished behind No. 1 seed High Point (13-3, 7-0 Big South), No. 2 Campbell (9-7, 6-1 Big South) and No. 3 Winthrop (8-9, 5-2 Big South).

The High Point Panthers, who went unbeaten in conference for their first regular-season crown since 2014, will serve as the host of the semifinals and finals on May 5 and 7.

No. 4 Liberty will begin its quest for a Big South title against No. 5 Longwood (7-10, 3-4 Big South) on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. The Lady Flames bested the Lancers, 18-8, in their regular-season meeting on April 5 in Farmville, Va.

On that day, redshirt sophomore midfielder Paige Britton tallied a career-best six goals, while Liberty used a 13-0 run spanning the end of the first half and most of the second half en route to a dominating victory.

The winner of the contest between Liberty and Longwood will meet top-seeded High Point in the semifinals on May 5 in High Point, N.C.

No. 2 seed Campbell will await the winner of No. 3 Winthrop and No. 6 Radford (2-5 Big South), which will be played on April 30 at 1 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C. Presbyterian (1-6 Big South) and Gardner-Webb (0-7 Big South) did not qualify for postseason competition.

The Big South champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed live on the Big South Network. The title game on Sunday, May 7 will be carried live on ESPN3 at noon.

Saturday, April 29 – Quarterfinals – at Lynchburg, Va.
Game 1:  No. 5 Longwood at No. 4 Liberty, 12 p.m. (TV: BSN)
Sunday, April 30 – Quarterfinals – at Rock Hill, S.C.
Game 2:  No. 6 Radford at No. 3 Winthrop, 1 p.m. (TV: BSN)
Friday, May 5 – Semifinals – at High Point, N.C.
Game 3:  Winner Game 1 at No. 1 High Point, 4 p.m. (TV: BSN)
Game 4:  Winner Game 2 vs. No. 2 Campbell, 7 p.m. (TV: BSN)
Sunday, May 7 – Championship – at High Point, N.C.
Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 12 p.m. (TV: ESPN3) 

Winthrop Holds Off Liberty for 18-13 Victory, Saturday

A late comeback attempt from Liberty came up short, as the Lady Flames fell, 18-13, to the Winthrop Eagles in their regular-season finale at Eagle Field on Saturday afternoon.

Liberty trailed Winthrop, 17-10, with 12:16 left before scoring three goals to draw within four (17-13). Lady Flames attacker Kayla Foster's shot at the 1:51 mark clanged off the crossbar, thwarting Liberty's final come-from-behind efforts. Winthrop Nicole Beaton's fifth goal of the day and 51st of the year sealed the win for the Eagles.

Beatson's five markers paced the Eagles, while Katherine Judge and Katie Clark scored four times each. Liberty was led by freshman Carly White, who matched a career high with four goals. The Lady Flames were unable to contain Eagles' free-position attempts, as the hosts converted 9-of-11 free-position shots in the contest.

White matched a career high with four goals on Saturday at Winthrop.
Winthrop (8-9) closes Big South Conference competition at 5-2 and has earned the No. 3 seed for the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, while Liberty (5-12) finishes 4-3 in league play and will be the No. 4 seed for the conference tournament.

The Eagles jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first 15:38 of Saturday's contest and never looked back. In those first 15-plus minutes, Winthrop scored three times on free-position attempts, including two from Ellie Marindin. Marindin's first marker of the day provided the home side a 1-0 lead at the 24:58 mark. Judge's second tally of the day on a free-position strike pushed the lead to 6-1.

Liberty answered with a quick spurt, scoring three goals in just 15 seconds. White's first of the day brought the score to 6-2. Following a Brianna McCaffrey draw control, she found Kayla Foster for her first goal of the day to bring it to within three (6-3) with 13:01 left in the opening half.

McCaffrey won the ensuing draw control and snapped a pass to Foster, who fed White. White ripped a shot in the top right corner for her second tally of the day, closing the gap to two, 6-4, with 12:54 on the first half clock.

But Winthrop responded with another 6-1 run of its own to take a commanding 12-5 lead with 2:18 to go in the half. During that run, Clark scored three of her goals.

The Lady Flames closed the half with two goals to draw within five, 12-7. Senior Courtney Brown shook off a defender with a nifty spin move and beat Eagles goalkeeper Chloe Wormsley for her 15th of the season with 43.4 seconds remaining in the half. Liberty scored in the half's final 10 seconds, as Foster found the back of the net for her second of the afternoon.

The Lady Flames were plagued by yellow cards and fouls throughout the day. Liberty picked up four of its five yellow cards in the first half and also committed 28 of its 45 fouls in the opening stanza.
White opened the scoring for Liberty in the second half, scoring with 25:36 left to cut the deficit to 12-8. However, Winthrop answered the bell again with a 5-2 run this time to lead, 17-10, with 12:16 to go. Big South leading goal scorer Nicole Beatson (51 goals) recorded three goals during the stretch, while Judge and Yeager found the back of the net as well.

Liberty's goals during that stretch came from White (fourth of the day, free-position) and Nikki Stumpf, her second of the day. Stumpf snagged a high pass from White and sent a left-handed shot past Wormsley for the fifth goal of her freshman campaign.

The Lady Flames' final three markers came from the sticks of McCaffrey (31st of year), Grace Fletcher and Foster. Fletcher's was a quick flick one-timer from inside the eight-meter arc, set up by a pass from Paige Britton. Foster's third tally of the day came with 4:10 left in the match and made the score 17-13 in favor of Winthrop before Beatson's final goal of the afternoon settled the final outcome.

Winthrop outshot Liberty, 42-26, and also collected 27 ground balls, compared to just 11 for Liberty. The Eagles held a slight edge in draw controls, 17-16, including a game-high 11 from Judge. McCaffrey paced Liberty with five.

Liberty will begin 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship play next Saturday, April 29 with a quarterfinal match against No. 5 seed Longwood (7-10, 3-4 Big South) at noon at the Liberty Lacrosse Field. The Lady Flames defeated the Lancers, 18-8, on April 5 in Farmville, Va.

Third Place on the Line in Saturday's Contest Between Liberty and Winthrop

Liberty women's lacrosse will travel to Winthrop for its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C.

Third place in the conference will be on the line. Liberty (5-11, 4-2 Big South) is tied for third in the Big South standings with Winthrop (7-9, 4-2 Big South). The winner of Saturday's contest will earn the No. 3 seed for the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship, while the loser will finish in the No. 4 slot.

Liberty will face Winthrop at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Lady Flames defeated Radford, 13-10, on Senior Night, Wednesday evening. Winthrop bested Gardner-Webb, 23-2, at home on Wednesday afternoon.

Series History
The Eagles have taken four of the five all-time meetings from the Lady Flames. Winthrop claimed a 17-6 victory over Liberty the last time the two schools met on March 30, 2016 in Lynchburg.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats for the contest, courtesy of Winthrop Athletics, will be available on the lacrosse schedule/results panel on LibertyFlames.com. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for updates from Eagle Field.

Senior Night Recap
The Liberty lacrosse program honored its seven seniors prior to the start of Wednesday night's contest against Radford. The senior class helped deliver a 13-10 Senior Night victory for the Lady Flames over the Highlanders.

Senior defenders Victoria Tickle (6 ct, 6 gb) and Melanie Via (2 ct, 4 gb) led the defensive unit to 25 caused turnovers and 40 ground balls, which were both the second-most in a single game in Liberty lacrosse history. Senior Courtney Brown scored three first-half goals, including the final two goals of the first half to put the Lady Flames ahead, 7-4, at intermission.

Liberty led 10-9 with 14:52 remaining before scoring three goals, two from Brianna McCaffrey, and one from Carly White, to put the game out of reach.

Other seniors and their statistics:
Paige Britton: 1 goal, 3 ground balls, 1 draw control
Ashlyn Altieri: 1 ground ball, 1 caused turnover
Eden Bayuk: 1 ground ball, 1 caused turnover
Casey Thate: 2 ground balls

2017 Big South Update
Here's a look at the current conference standings:
Team Conference Overall
High Point 6-0 12-3
Campbell 5-1 8-7
Winthrop 4-2 7-9
Liberty 4-2 5-11
Longwood 2-4 6-10
Radford 2-4 6-9
Presbyterian 1-5 2-13
Gardner-Webb 0-6 0-16

Lady Flames News and Notes
  • Liberty places No. 4 in the country in ground balls per game (24.25) and No. 4 in caused turnovers per game (12.50). The Lady Flames are first in the conference in both categories. The Liberty defense recorded 25 caused turnovers and 40 ground balls on Wednesday against Radford. Both marks are the second highest totals in a game in program history.
  • Last Saturday vs. High Point, sophomore attacker Kayla Foster joined the 100-point club, needing just 33 career games to do so. Foster became the sixth Lady Flame in program history to reach 100 points. Foster is currently sixth in program history with 104 points.
  • Foster paces the squad in assists (30, No. 25 in nation) and points (53). Her eight-assist, three-goal, 11-point performance last Wednesday at Gardner-Webb set new Liberty program records for both assists and points.
  • The Lady Flames are averaging 14.67 goals per game in six Big South Conference contests.
  • Sophomore midfielder Brianna McCaffrey leads Liberty in goals (30), draw controls (70) and shots (99). McCaffrey is fifth in the league and 39th nationally in draw controls per game (4.38) and third in the conference in shots per game (6.19).
  • Liberty senior defender Victoria Tickle paces the team with 49 ground balls and is 26th in DI in ground balls per game (3.06) and third in the Big South. Tickle is seventh all-time in program history with 98 ground balls and eighth all-time in caused turnovers (53). She had a career game on Wednesday vs. Radford, compiling six caused turnovers, second-most in a game in Lady Flames history, and six caused turnovers.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick places third in the Big South in goals-against average (12.54) and fourth in save percentage (.397). She was selected as the Big South Defensive Player of the Week on April 4.
  • Liberty freshmen have stepped up, this season. Grace Fletcher and Carly White pace the first-year group with 17 goals apiece, while Hannah Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (8) and Nikki Stumpf (3) have all made their marks as first-year players.
  • Liberty attempted 47 shots on Wednesday vs. Radford, the third-most in any game in school history. The Lady Flames are 5-3 this year when they outshoot their opponents.
  • White has recorded 15 goals over the past seven matches, while Paige Britton has notched 16 goals during the last six contests.
Scouting Winthrop
Three-time Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week Nicole Beatson (46 g, 28 a) leads the conference with 74 points in 16 games (4.62/game). Beatson is seventh in the nation in points and ranks first in DI in free position percentage (.789). Katherine Judge (36 g), Katie Clark (31 g, 8 a) and Kristen Shriver (30 g, 24 a) all have 30 or more goals for the Eagles.

Judge has accounted for 81 draw controls, good for third-best in the Big South and 26th in the country in draw controls per game (5.06). She also checks in at No. 29 in the country in caused turnovers per game (1.94), pacing the squad with 31.

Goalkeeper Chloe Wormsley leads the squad with 44 ground balls (2.81/game, No. 42 in the nation). Wormsley has played every minute in net for Winthrop, going 7-9 with a 12.12 goals-against average, a .342 save percentage and 101 saves.

The Eagles won the Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship in both 2015 and 2016. Winthrop is led by first-year head coach Julika Blankenship.

Liberty Defeats Radford, 13-10, on Senior Night

The Liberty lacrosse team defeated visiting Radford, 13-10, in Big South play, Wednesday evening at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

With the victory, the Lady Flames (5-11, 4-2 Big South) remain tied with Winthrop (7-9, 4-2 Big South) for third place in the conference, with a big showdown against the Eagles looming on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. Radford (6-9, 2-4 Big South) falls to 0-2 all-time against Liberty.

Prior to the contest, the team honored its seven seniors (Ashlyn Altieri, Eden Bayuk, Paige Britton, Courtney Brown, Casey Thate, Victoria Tickle and Melanie Via), and several of them played crucial roles in the win.


Senior Courtney Brown scored three first-half goals for the home side, while defenders Victoria Tickle, Melanie Via and Casey Thate were part of a stout defensive unit that caused 25 turnovers and collected 40 ground balls. Both marks are the second-most in a contest in program history.

Tickle put together the best game of her career with six caused turnovers and six ground balls. Her six forced turnovers is tied for the second-most by a Lady Flame in a single contest in school history. Meanwhile, Via notched four ground balls and two caused turnovers and Thate corralled a pair of ground balls.


Liberty also managed to outshoot Radford, 47-27. The 47 shots by the Lady Flames are the third-highest total in Liberty lacrosse history. Radford won the battle for draw controls, 15-10.

The Lady Flames scored the first four tallies of the night and never trailed in the contest. Kayla Foster's only goal of the evening came at the 22:58 mark in the first half on a feed from Grace Fletcher, putting the host Lady Flames on top, 1-0. Foster, the team's points leader, added three assists to elevate her point total to 53 in 16 games.

Liberty's next two markers came from Paige Britton and Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti on free-position shots. Just 30 seconds after Cassidy-Fischetti's goal, freshman Jenna Joyal (1 g, 3 a) found a cutting Brown, who buried a left-handed shot into the right side of the net to give Liberty a 4-0 lead with 13:40 left in the opening half.

Over the next 9:21, Radford scored four goals to even the contest, 4-4, with 3:32 left in the half. Adrian Rius (5 g, 1 a, 9 dc) accounted for two of the markers, while Juliette Ruland and Emma Rogers found the back of the frame as well.

But Liberty closed the opening stanza on a 3-0 run, fueled by a goal from Joyal and pair of tallies from Brown. Joyal's goal, a lefty strike from inside the eight-meter arc, was her eighth of 2017. Brown's third goal of the match and 14th of her senior campaign was deflected by Highlanders netminder Jenny Davis before slowly trickling in the goal with 1.2 seconds left. The goal staked the Lady Flames to a 7-4 advantage at intermission.

Following a successful clear attempt early in the second half, Brianna McCaffrey entered the Highlanders' zone and ripped a left-handed shot into the top left corner for her first goal of the night just 53 seconds into the second half, providing Liberty an 8-4 lead.

Goals from Ruland and Amanda Paino brought RU back within two (8-6) with 20:48 left before freshmen Carly White and Fletcher scored goals 22 seconds apart. Fletcher's lone goal on the evening, her 16th of the year, made it 10-6 Liberty with 20:02 remaining.

The Highlanders answered with a 3-0 run of their own over the next 2:53, capped off by back-to-back tallies off the stick of Rius. Her fourth of the evening closed the gap to 10-9 with 14:52 left and caused the Lady Flames to take a timeout to regroup.

Following the timeout, Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle elected to make a switch in goal. Aubrie Tarris replaced Katherine Widrick (seven saves) in net.

The Lady Flames' offense once again came to life in a crucial stretch, as leading scorer McCaffrey notched back-to-back goals to push the lead to three (12-9) with 8:52 on the clock. McCaffrey's second marker of the evening was a solo effort in which she sliced through the Radford defense and sent a shot into the right side of the goal. Her third and final tally of the night (30th of the year) was set up by Joyal's third assist of the evening.

In the waning minutes, Liberty worked the clock and found the back of the goal one more time. White scored her second of the night and 17th of the season with 3:19 remaining, pushing the Lady Flames' lead to 13-9.

Rius' fifth and final goal of the evening with 14 seconds left in the match settled the final score at 13-10.

Widrick (4-6) was credited with the fourth win of her sophomore campaign, while Tarris made two stops in the final 14:52 of the game. Davis (4-4) was saddled with the loss despite making 18 saves in net.

"It's always great to get a win on Senior Day and send the seniors out on a high note. The girls battled tonight and fought for the win. We got some great experience tonight in pulling out a win in a close game," Nangle stated. "We've been talking a lot about the gaps and being able to gain momentum from them, and I think we did that tonight when we needed it most. I'm proud of them for finding a way. We are excited to get back to work tomorrow to prepare for Winthrop on Saturday."

Liberty will face Winthrop on Saturday afternoon in its regular-season finale, with third place in the Big South on the line. The contest will begin at 1 p.m. at Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C.

Senior Reflections
"To Coach [Nangle}, thank you for the privilege and opportunity. To my dad, mom, and Jordan, thank you for always believing in me. To the freshmen class, you all are truly something special."
Eden Bayuk

"I want to thank the coaches and Joey [Lyons] for everything, and for my team. I'm thankful that the Lord put me on this team. It has honestly been the best team I've gotten to be a part of and I love everyone so much."
Paige Britton

"I would like to thank God for the opportunity to play the sport I love in college and use it as a platform for His glory. I would like to thank my team this year for their love and acceptance and my coaches for giving me the best senior year I could ever imagine. I would like to thank Adam for being my family at games and for making my boat better. I would especially like to thank my dad for being my ultimate supporter and for always believing in me as I pursue my dreams. You are simply the best!"
Courtney Brown

"I would like to thank my family for their encouragement, support and love over the years. I would also like to thank the coaches for allowing me the opportunity to play for Liberty, as well as well as all of our support staff. I would especially like to thank my teammates, who have brought so much joy, laughter and unforgettable memories in my life."
Casey Thate

"I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches and support staff who have made these past four years here at Liberty unforgettable. I am truly blessed to have gained amazing sisters each year that I was here. I will forever cherish the growth and memories spent each day with all of you."
Victoria Tickle

"Thank you to my family, teammates and coaches for the best five years."
Melanie Via