Elon Falls to Liberty
from press release
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Elon women's lacrosse team scored more than double its output from its first game of the season two weeks ago, but ultimately fell to Liberty, 13-9, today, Feb. 21. The Phoenix is now 0-2 on the season, while the Flames take its first win to improve to 1-3.
The maroon and gold finished 12-of-21 in clear attempts and saw five different players record points in the game. Annie Shenk scored five goals for Elon, while Sloane Kessler netted one goal and assisted on three. Olivia Fernandez, Anna Vitton and Sydney Hesselbein all contributed to the Phoenix scoring effort with Hesselbein also recording an assist.
On defense, six Phoenix players forced turnovers with Fernandez picking up four ground balls. Goalie Rachel Ramirez posted 13 saves and four ground balls in the game and only allowed four goals in the second period off Liberty's 22 shots.
Liberty's Sam Struss scored five goals on the day, going a perfect 5-for-5. The Flames also saw three goals by Michaela Rich, while Kallie Britton finished with three assists. Flames' goalie Kristen Masullo also had 13 saves.
Liberty took a strong offensive stand from the beginning, taking a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Elon went to work and saw three straight goals by Shenk, the first of which was assisted by Hesselbein, to even the game with 18:48 left in the first period.
After another goal by Shenk made it a 4-4 game, Elon's defense forced miscues for the Flames and got the ball down the field for a Vitton score and the maroon and gold's first lead, 5-4, with under eight minutes left. Liberty quickly regained the momentum, rattling off the next five goals, including four in the final three minutes of the period, to hold a 9-5 advantage at the break.
With the Flames leading 10-5 in the second period, Hesselbein and Kessler helped close the gap to three to make it a 10-7 game with 17:46 remaining. Liberty saw the next three goals go in its favor over a 10-minute span for a 13-7 advantage.
The Phoenix did not give up as Shenk scored her fifth goal of the game off a pass from Kessler with 1:34 left. After a win at the draw for Elle Hvozdovic, Elon was awarded a free-position attempt and scored 28 seconds after its last goal off the free-position shot by Fernandez.
For the game, the Flames outshot Elon, 37-26, and held the slight edge in ground balls, 23-20. While Liberty took a 14-11 advantage in draw controls, Elle Hvozdovic held a dominating position at the draw for the Phoenix with a game-high eight draw controls.
Elon will play its next game Sunday, Feb. 23, at Virginia Tech. The game is set to begin at noon in Blacksburg, Va.
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