BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Liberty University women's lacrosse team outscored Lees-McRae College by a 12-3 margin in the first half en route to a 22-6 win in non-conference play on Saturday afternoon.
Liberty (6-10) outshot the Bobcats (3-10) by a 39-19 margin, including a 17-8 advantage in the second half, while holding a 36-26 edge in ground balls and converting 22-of-26 clear attempts. The Bobcats celebrated their senior day prior to the opening draw, honoring their 2011 class of Laura Hawthorne (Winter Garden, Fla.), Lexi King (Woodstock, Ga.), Lauren Martin (Whitby, Ontario, Canada), Jody Parlier (Banner Elk, N.C.), Martha Peacock (Mooresville, N.C.), and Ellie Psillas (Hagerstown, Md.).
Psillas paced the Bobcats with two goals and one assist, wrapping up her career ranked third in program history in goals (70), assists (24), and points (94). Hawthorne, Emily Guenthner (Nampa, Idaho), Olivia Gudewich (Frederick, Md.), and Nicole Dupont (Fort Myers, Fla.) each added a goal for the Bobcats, while King and Psillas both tallied an assist. Peacock played the full 60 minutes between the pipes for LMC, recording 13 saves. Hawthorne, Psillas, Peacock and Anna DeLuke (Woodstock, Ga.) each forced four turnovers on the afternoon.
Karis Walborn led the way for Liberty with five goals and two assists, while Audra Menez, Kristin Crowley, Jen Moyer, Anna Starling, and Emily Dinsmore each tallied a pair of goals. Menez paced the Flames with a game-high six assists, while Crowley and Walborn each added two helpers. Kristen Masullo made seven saves over the first 30 minutes to earn the win, while Blaire Barnhart notched a pair of stops in the second half.
Menez opened the scoring for Liberty less than 30 seconds into the contest, giving the Flames an early 1-0 lead at the 29:31 mark. Gudewich answered for the Bobcats two minutes later, knotting the score at 1-1 with her 24th goal of the season. Liberty responded with four straight goals to open a 5-1 lead on Starling's first of the game before Dupont countered with her first career strike at the 13:18 mark, cutting the lead to 5-2.
Liberty answered once again, scoring seven consecutive goals to take a 12-2 lead before Psillas capped the half's scoring with 37 ticks left to trim the margin to 12-3 heading into the interval. Hawthorne opened the second half with her 10th goal of the season for the Bobcats at the 26:13 mark, trimming the lead to 12-4 before Liberty regained control, tallying 10 straight goals to put the game out of reach.
Psillas and Guenthner capped the day's scoring with a goal each in the final five minutes, including Guenthner's 24th of the season with 10 seconds left, which extended her point streak to 10 games.
Lees-McRae is expected to return 12 letter-winners from this season's squad, including rising seniors DeLuke, Tiffany Rodman (Corona, Calif.), and Amanda Harkness (Johnson City, N.Y.).
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