April 27, 2014

Longwood Hangs On to Top Liberty

from Press Release

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Junior Kacey Norwood/Chantilly recorded three goals and three assists for a game-high six points to lead the Longwood University women's lacrosse team to a 12-11 victory at Big South Conference and in-state rival Liberty University (2-15, 1-6) on Sunday afternoon in the squads' regular-season finale. The Lancers scored four consecutive goals early in the second half to pull ahead, 9-4, and although the Flames registered six of the last eight goals in the outing, the visitors held on to earn the one-goal decision. Sophomore Katie McHugh/Burke added to the Lancers' offensive effort with five goals, while Morgan Becker and Michaela Rich paced the Flames with five points apiece. With the win, Longwood (8-9, 5-2) has secured the No. 3 seed for the 2014 Big South Championship and will host No. 6 Campbell University in a quarterfinal match at the Athletics Complex in Farmville on Wednesday, April 30 beginning at 4 p.m.

"This was a good win against a feisty team on their Senior Day," said head coach Elaine Jones. "Although we definitely had some miscues, I'm very proud of our team for battling all the way to the end. We had some nice goals, especially from Katie McHugh and Kacey Norwood, and Christian Acker came up with a crucial save near the end of the game, which helped seal the win. After playing two games in three days, we look forward to mentally and physically preparing for our Big South Conference quarterfinal game."

Sophomore Sarah Butler/Oakleigh South, Victoria, Australia notched her eighth hat trick of the year with three of the Lancers' goals in the win. Senior Lauren Prasnicki/Lexington also totaled three points on three assists. Classmate Mary Barondess/Centreville rounded out the goal scorers for Longwood with one of her own, while juniors Liz Trainer/Ellicott City, Md. and Sarah Arndt/Pasadena, Md. logged one assist apiece. Junior goalkeeper Christian Acker/Moorestown, N.J. tallied seven saves in the complete-game effort.

Liberty got on the board first less than 30 seconds into play, but Longwood was quick to respond with four-straight goals. Prasnicki found Norwood cutting to the net for the Lancers' first goal of the day before Norwood assisted McHugh and Barondess, and Butler fired a hard shot of her own past the opposing keeper to give the visitors a 4-1 advantage with less than 20 minutes remaining in the first period. The Flames answered with a pair of goals in the next 10 minutes, but Trainer and McHugh connected for the final goal of the half, giving Longwood a 5-3 edge at the break.

The second half started in much the same fashion as the first, as Liberty struck first to cut the difference to just one before the Lancers followed with four more goals to pull away, 9-4. During that stretch, McHugh fired on target twice, thanks to assists from Prasnicki and Norwood, while Butler and Norwood also added one goal each. Liberty's Becker converted on a free position opportunity at 18:45, however, Butler retaliated with her 33rd score of the year to give Longwood a 10-5 lead with just over 15 minutes to play. The Flames would not go quietly, taking control of the momentum in the waning minutes of the contest with six of the final eight goals of the day, including three more from Becker, to make it a one-goal game once again with just under three minutes left to go. Acker and the rest of the defense held off the home squad, though, and the Lancers were able to run out the clock, sealing the 12-11 decision.

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