Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Old Dominion Edges Liberty, 11-8, on Saturday

The visiting Old Dominion Lady Monarchs scored two goals in the final minute of the game to seal an 11-8 victory over the host Liberty Lady Flames, Saturday afternoon, at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.

Leading 9-8 with 1:56 to play, Old Dominion worked the shot clock and Cydney Tutchton scored with just 38 seconds left, giving them a 10-8 advantage. ODU added the final tally with a second left in the contest on a goal from Sophia Richie.

With the loss, the Lady Flames fall to 1-5, while the Lady Monarchs improve to 3-2.

Connor Carson (4 goals), Richie (3 goals) and Tutchton (3 goals) combined for all but one of the visiting side's goals. Liberty received two-goal efforts from midfielders Brianna McCaffrey and Abby Britton.

Liberty controlled much of the play during the first half, including the early stages of the game. Following the opening draw won by Carson, Foster forced a turnover, eventually feeding the ball to Paige Britton. Britton found McCaffrey to the right of the net. The sophomore slung a shot into the back of the goal past Maggi Buckley, giving Liberty an early 1-0 advantage just 33 seconds in.

Senior Courtney Brown pushed the Lady Flames' lead to 2-0 with 28:48 left in the first stanza. Liberty attacker Kayla Foster circled the net and found Brown on the left side of the eight-meter arc. Brown evaded ODU defenders and ripped a shot by Buckley.

Carson and Richie drew the Lady Monarchs even at 2-2 with goals at the 16:55 and 15:07 marks, respectively. But the Lady Flames responded with a 4-1 run of their own over the course of the next 10:25 to take its biggest lead of the day, 6-3.

During that spurt, Abby Britton found the back of the net twice, while Carly White and Foster also tallied goals. The goal for White was her first of 2017 and was set up by Foster.

The score held at 6-3 until the closing minute of the first half, when Carson and Tutchton scored twice in a 14-second span to cut the Liberty lead to 6-5 at intermission.

Tutchton evened the match at 6-6 with a goal just over three minutes into the second half. With 20:48 remaining, Carson's fourth goal of the day put Old Dominion ahead for the first time all afternoon, 7-6.

Over the course of the final 20 minutes, ODU would not relinquish the lead. Richie notched her third goal of the day with 19:39 to play, making it 8-6 in favor of the Lady Monarchs.

The score remained the same for nearly eight minutes until Lady Flames' freshman Nikki Stumpf was fouled, setting up a free-position attempt. Stumpf buried the shot for her second goal of the year, slicing the deficit in half (8-7).

Just under two minutes later, ODU regained a two-goal advantage on a Megan Cameron marker, pushing the lead to 9-7. McCaffrey brought Liberty back to within one at 9-8 with a free-position goal with 6:17 left on the clock, her second of the day and seventh of the season.

Looking for the equalizer, the Lady Flames were only able to manage two shots on goal (McCaffrey and Hannah Quast) over the course of the final six plus minutes. Both attempts were turned aside by Buckley (8 GA, 8 SV).

Buckley earned the win in net, improving to 3-2. Sophomore Katherine Widrick (0-2) drew the start and played all 60 minutes in goal for Liberty, making six stops while yielding 11 goals.

The Lady Flames outshot the Lady Monarchs, 31-21, on the day and also possessed a 29-27 edge in ground balls and 11-8 advantage in draw controls won, including a game-high six draw controls from McCaffrey. Old Dominion committed more turnovers than Liberty (27-23) and was just 1-of-7 on free-position shots, compared to 2-of-5 for the Lady Flames.

Liberty's Brown, White and Melanie Via each scooped up four ground balls for the home side, while Kerri Caruso and Buckley paced ODU with five apiece. The Lady Flames' Brown and Lindsey McNamara both caused three turnovers, while Caruso and Buckley shared top honors on the team with three caused turnovers each.

Foster's one-goal, two-assist game for Liberty brings her point total to a team-best 14 (6 g, 8 a), so far this year.

Liberty will begin a six-game road trip, starting with a trip to George Mason, next Saturday, March 11. The game between the Lady Flames and the Patriots is set for 1 p.m. at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Va.

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