Following the end of the 2017 season for Liberty lacrosse, LFSN's Alan York had a chance to recap the season with Liberty Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle.
The Lady Flames posted a 4-3 mark in Big South competition, this spring, to earn the No. 4 seed for the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. Liberty defeated No. 5 seed Longwood in the quarterfinals in Lynchburg before falling to No. 1 seed and eventual Big South champion High Point.
2017 Season Highlights
Six Liberty players garnered Big South All-Conference recognition, led by 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year Carly White. White became the second Lady Flame in program history to receive the award, as Kayla Foster received the same honor in 2016. White also earned a spot on the Big South All-Conference first team, while Foster, a sophomore, and seniors Courtney Brown and Victoria Tickle were chosen to the second team. Sophomore Brianna McCaffrey and junior Lindsey McNamara both received Big South All-Conference honorable mention, while Brown was honored on the Big South All-Academic team for her work in the classroom. Brown and Tickle were named to the Big South All-Tournament team.
The Lady Flames were well-represented in the Big South weekly awards. Foster was named 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 selected as the Big South Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week on April 4, while White was named the Big South Freshman of the Week on April 11.
On her way to being named Big South Freshman of the Year, White played her best lacrosse during conference play. The native of Marietta, Ga. tallied 17 goals, eight assists and 25 points in seven Big South regular-season contests. White poured in 23 goals to go along with 14 assists over the final 10 games of the year. She wrapped up the season third on the team in points with 43 (25 g, 18 a).
Foster paced Liberty with 65 points (32 g, 33 a), while McCaffrey led the squad with 40 goals. Foster broke the school record for assists in a season and became the program leader for career assists (62) in her second season in a Lady Flames uniform. McCaffrey's 40 goals are tied for the third most in a single season in Liberty lacrosse history, and her 123 shots in 2017 set a new program record.
Foster's marquee performance of her sophomore campaign came on April 12 at Gardner-Webb. The native of Sewickley, Pa. broke the Liberty lacrosse single-game program record for both assists (8) and points (11). After two seasons at Liberty, Foster is fifth all-time in Lady Flames' history in points (116).
Paige Britton helped lead Liberty to an 18-8 victory over Longwood on April 5 with a career-high six goals, the second most in a single contest in Liberty lacrosse history. The Lady Flames distanced themselves from the Lancers on that day with a 13-0 run spanning the tail end of the first half and most of the second half. The victory moved Liberty to 2-0 in Big South play.
The Lady Flames defeated Radford, 13-10, on Senior Night, April 19. The team honored its seven seniors (Ashlyn Altieri, Eden Bayuk, Paige Britton, Courtney Brown, Casey Thate, Victoria Tickle and Melanie Via) prior to their final home regular-season contest. Brown paced Liberty with three goals, while Tickle, Via and Thate helped cause 25 Radford turnovers and also recorded 40 ground balls as a unit. Both marks were the second most in a game in program history. Victoria Tickle finished with six caused turnovers (second-best single game in program history) and six ground balls.
Liberty finished the season third in the nation in both caused turnovers per game (12.47) and ground balls per game (23.42). Individually, McCaffrey placed inside the top 50 in both shots per game (No. 31, 6.47) and draw controls per game (No. 45, 4.05). Foster closed out the season 41st in the country in assists (33) and 43rd in assists per game (1.74), while Victoria Tickle finished No. 36 in DI in ground balls per game (2.79).
Redshirt sophomore Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti and sophomore Brittany Tickle both scored their first career goals, this season. Cassidy-Fischetti's first career marker came on March 25 in the first half at VCU. The Toms River, N.J., native finished the year with seven goals and five assists. Tickle scored the first two goals of her career at Gardner-Webb on April 12. Her first career goal came with 2:15 to play in the contest, while the second tally occurred with 32 seconds remaining. Tickle's first goal, assisted by Foster, gave Foster her program record-breaking eighth assist of the match.
Freshmen contributed in the scoring column for the Lady Flames throughout the season. White led the first-year group with 25 goals, followed by Grace Fletcher (19), Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (9) and Nikki Stumpf (5).