March 6, 2011

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Monmouth Overcomes Weather, Dunay to Beat Liberty

from press release

LYNCHBURG, Va. - The threat of inclement weather did not stop the Liberty lacrosse team from taking the field Sunday night, as the Lady Flames hosted Northeast Conference member Monmouth. With the downpour of rain, the contest was moved to Williams Stadium. Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, the Muhawks used two four-point spurts in each half to earn a 15-11 decision.

Liberty falls to 1-1 on the year, while Monmouth improves to 3-1 in 2011. Despite the defeat, freshman midfielder Nina Dunay signed her name in the Liberty record books. The Ashburn, Va., native finished with six goals on the night, breaking the program's single-game scoring record.

Liberty junior captain Kristin Crowley put the Lady Flames on the board first with an unassisted goal at 1:39 of the first period. After Monmouth's Tori Jordan knotted the contest with a tally of her own, Liberty responded with free position markers from Crowley and Karis Walborn to take a 3-1 edge at 23:34.

Monmouth tied the contest once again, receiving back-to-back goals from attacker Molly O'Brien and midfielder Erica Abenschoen, thanks to assists from attacker Rachel Fierstein. Walborn put Liberty back up by one, 4-3, with an unassisted score at 20:16. The Muhawks countered with a quartet of unanswered tallies over the next nine minutes to take a three-goal lead at 11:14.

Following a near 10-minute span of scoreless action, each team added a goal apiece in the final two minutes, resulting in a halftime score of 8-5 in favor of Monmouth.

In the second half, Dunay posted a pair of tallies in the opening three minutes to put Liberty within one goal of the Muhawks. O'Brien found the net at 22:42 to stretch the advantage to a pair, but Dunay answered with her fourth goal of the contest nearly five minutes later to divide the deficit, 9-8.

Much like the first half, the Muhawks went on another four-goal burst, receiving one goal from Craissa Franzi and three-straight from Sam Lillo. The run allowed Monmouth to take a 13-8 lead with 11:58 remaining in the contest.

The Lady Flames and the Muhawks traded points down the stretch. Dunay netted a goal at 11:23 to put Liberty within four. After Feirstein made it a five-point game again with a marker at 7:15, Dunay tacked on her sixth and final goal nearly 45 seconds later. Franzi answered with a tally for the Muhawks under the six minute mark. Walborn closed out the scoring with a goal for the Lady Flames at 1:06, en route to the 15-11 final.

Along with Dunay's record-breaking six goals, Walborn chipped in a hat trick, while Crowley netted two to complete Liberty's scoring. Abenschoen and Lillo led the Muhawks with six goals apiece.

Monmouth completed 10-of-12 clears, while the Lady Flames reached the offensive zone on 6-of-8 occasions. The Muhawks also won the battle for groundballs, 17-11. Liberty held the advantage at midfield, winning the draw 15 times compared to 13 for Monmouth.

Monmouth's Kirby Mundorf stayed between the pipes the entire 60 minutes, recording 10 saves. Kristen Masullo manned the net for Liberty the first 48:37, finishing with seven saves. Blaire Barnhart stepped in for the final 11:23, picking up three saves.

Liberty heads to Loudonville, N.Y., on Saturday for a meeting with Siena. The opening draw is set for 11 a.m.


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