LYNCHBURG, Va. - Host Liberty scored the game's first 10 goals on Wednesday afternoon, leading to an 18-6 victory over the visiting East Carolina Pirates at the Liberty Lacrosse Field.
The Lady Flames improve to 5-2 on the season with their third win in the last four games. Meanwhile, ECU falls to 5-2 overall on the year and sees its three-game winning streak snapped.
Liberty had its highest offensive output (18 goals) of 2019, led by sophomore Anna Keebler. The attacker notched career-high in goals (5), assists (2) and points (7) in the contest.
Six different Lady Flames scored two or more goals in the contest, as Liberty outshot ECU 33-13 in the game and held advantages in ground balls (16-10) and clear percentage (81.3 percent to 55.5 percent).
Liberty, which entered the game second in the country in caused turnovers per game (16.00), had 15 more caused turnovers on the day. Junior defender Sarah Steenson led the way, matching a career high with four caused turnovers. Senior goalkeeper Katherine Widrick picked up her fifth win of 2019, making six stops in the match.
Liberty Goals: Anna Keebler 5, Carly White 3, Mia Toscano 2, Hannah Quast 2, Brianna McCaffrey 2, Emily Browne 2, Kayla Foster 1, Andrea Colavito 1
Liberty Assists: Anna Keebler 2, Mia Toscano 2, Mackenzie Poist 1, Hannah Quast 1, Carly White 1
East Carolina Goals: Ally Stanton 1, Brittany Borchers 1, Megan Tryniski 1, Megan Pallozzi 1, Nicole Legar 1, Emma Bowman 1
East Carolina Assists: Hannah Rzempoluch 2, Brittany Borchers 1, Ally Stanton 1, Megan Tryniski 1
W: Katherine Widrick 5-2, 6 saves
L: Christina White 5-2, 3 saves
Thoughts From Head Coach Kelly Nangle
"I'm proud of our girls. This was a great team win where everyone contributed. We've been focusing on finishing our shots these last few weeks and taking advantage of offensive opportunities, and I think we did a great job of doing that today. I'm excited to build off some of those things we executed today and carry them into Saturday!"
Liberty opened the game on a 10-0 run over the first 15:01. During that stretch, Keebler scored three times, and captains Carly White and Brianna McCaffrey both scored twice, as well. Sophomore midfielder Emily Browne notched back-to-back goals during the spurt, with her second one on a free-position attempt, making it 9-0 Lady Flames with 15:30 to go in the half.
Sophomore Mia Toscano scored 31 seconds later to put Liberty ahead of ECU 10-0.
The Pirates never got closer than nine goals the rest of the way.
First Half Summary
- Liberty's first goal of the game came just 58 seconds into the match and was scored by White. The Lady Flames scored three more times (McCaffrey, Quast and Keebler) in short succession, leading to a 4-0 edge with 24:55 left.
- ECU's Ally Stanton scored the Pirates' first goal of the game on an eight-meter shot with 12:03 remaining in the opening half to cut the Liberty lead to 10-1.
- Lady Flames Andrea Colavito earned a free-position attempt and buried her first career goal into the bottom right side of the cage at the 8:32 mark. The Johns Creek, Ga., native's marker pushed the Liberty lead back to 10, 11-1.
- Liberty dominated in shots (20-5) ground balls (11-4) and clear percentage (90 percent to 33.3 percent) in the opening 30 minutes.
Second Half Summary
- With a running clock for the duration of the second half, Liberty tracked on five more goals. Toscano's second tally of the day came on a feed from Keebler made it 14-3 in favor of the hosts with 19:51 left.
- All nine goals (five Liberty, four ECU) scored in the second half came from the sticks of different players. The Lady Flames' Keebler and White scored the final two goals of the game inside of five minutes remaining, with Keebler's establishing a new career high (five goals) and White's giving her another hat trick.
Key Stats & Notes
- Liberty is now 2-0 all-time against East Carolina. The Lady Flames have combined to outscored the Pirates 33-10 during the two meetings.
- At 5-2, Liberty has matched its best seven-game start in program history. The Lady Flames also won five of their first seven matches in 2018.
- In total, 28 Lady Flames saw playing time in the game. Freshman Morgan Learn won her first career draw control with 2:50 remaining in the contest. Learn, Maggie Anderson, Mikayla Coghill, Anna DiRita, Alexa Evernham and Jennifer Soriero all made their collegiate debuts.
- The Lady Flames' 18 goals were the most they had scored in a game since a 19-goal effort at Radford, April 18, 2018 (19-9 win). Liberty's 13 goals in the opening half were the most it has had since a 15-goal opening half against Longwood, April 11, 2018.
- With her five-goal effort, Keebler doubled her season total from five to 10 and surpassed her season total (9) from her freshman year (2018).
- Redshirt freshman Mackenzie Poist notched her first career assist on a second half goal from Hannah Quast. Poist scored her first career goal, Feb. 15 at Winthrop.
- White notched her fourth hat trick of the season and leads the team in goals (15), points (23) and ground balls (24), while sharing the team lead in assists (8).
- ECU won 14 draw controls on the afternoon, compared to 11 for Liberty. Camryn Pennypacker of the Pirates led all players with five draw controls, while McCaffrey paced the home side with four.
- Liberty has won the caused turnover battle in six of seven games this year. In addition to Steenson's game-high four caused turnovers, senior attacker Kayla Foster matched a career high with three of her own.
- Liberty will head south for spring break and is set for a pair of contests, one in South Carolina and one in Georgia. First, the Lady Flames will take on the Furman Paladins (2-4) on Saturday at noon in Greenville, S.C. On Saturday, March 16, Liberty will play its first-ever ASUN contest at Kennesaw State (1-3) in Kennesaw, Ga.
- The Lady Flames will be taking on both opponents for the first time.