2019 @ASUNWLAX Season Preview: Liberty Flames

2019 @ASUNWLAX Season Preview: Liberty Flames

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ATLANTA, Ga. - As the 2019 ASUN Women's Lacrosse season kicks off on February 8th, we take a closer look at each of the seven conference teams as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Liberty enters the 2019 season as the newcomer to the ASUN Conference. The Flames look to build off their best season in program history last year, as they finished 13-5 and earned a No. 2 seed in their conference tournament. Head Coach Kelly Nangle brings back a good chunk of last year's squad, including the leading scorers in Kayla Foster and Brianna McCaffrey. Foster led the Flames with 65 points with 27 goals and 38 assists en route to earning Second Team All-Conference honors. McCaffrey was a force on both the offensive and defensive ends. She led Liberty in goals with 40 and ranked fourth nationally in caused turnovers per game at 2.82. McCaffrey led the team by picking up 53 ground balls and earned First Team All-Conference honors. Carly White returns on the attack for the Flames. As a sophomore in 2018, White tallied 42 points on 28 goals and 14 assists. 

As a team, Liberty was one of the top defensive squads in the nation last year. They ranked first in caused turnovers per game at 14.28 and second nationally in ground balls per game at 23.78. The Flames return both netminders from last year's team in Katherine Widrick and Aubrie Tarris. Both goalies saw substantial time in net, as Widrick appeared in all 18 games, starting in three, while Tarris appeared in 15 contests, starting in 14. Widrick ranked third on the team in ground balls at 40 and finished the year with a goals against average of 8.29, while playing in 658 minutes of action. 

The Flames begin their season on February 9th when they travel to Lehigh. They play their first home contest on Feburary 17th when No. 20 Notre Dame comes to Lynchburg. The Flames non-conference slate features programs like Notre Dame, Elon, Robert Morris, Richmond, Arizona State and East Carolina. Liberty plays its first-ever ASUN contest on March 16 when it pays a visit to Kennesaw State. 

Active Career Leaders
Games Played: Brianna McCaffrey (55), Kayla Foster (55), Katherine Widrick (51)
Points: Kayla Foster (181), Brianna McCaffrey (113), Carly White (82)
Goals: Brianna McCaffrey (93), Kayla Foster (81), Carly White (53)
Ground balls: Briann McCaffrey (113), Katherine Widrick (104), Carly White (85)
Saves: Katherine Widrick (235)

2018 Top Returning Statistical Leaders
Games Started: Kayla Foster (18), Carly White (18), Brianna McCaffrey (18), Hannah Quast (18), Jenna Joyal (18), Maddi Little (18)
Points: Kayla Foster (65), Brianna McCaffrey (47), Carly White (42)
Goals: Brianna McCaffrey (40), Carly White (28), Kayla Foster (27) 
Ground balls: Brianna McCaffrey (53),  Carly White (45), Katherine Widrick (40)
Saves: Katherine Widrick (98)

Liberty's Schedule Breakdown
Home Matches: 8
Away Matches: 9
Neutral Matches: 0
First Home Match: vs. No. 20 Notre Dame (Feb. 17 – 11 AM)
First Road Match: at Lehigh (Feb. 9 – 12 PM)
Opening ASUN Contest: at Kennesaw State (March 16 – 12 PM)

Roster Breakdown
Seniors: 7
Juniors: 7
Sophomores: 7
Freshman: 12

Coaching Profile
Head Coach: Kelly Nangle
Alma Mater: Mount St. Mary's, 2006
Record at Liberty: 35-58, Fifth Season
Career Record: 51-76, Seventh Season