Top Seed Davidson Runs by Liberty in BSC Semifinals

DAVIDSON, N.C. Mary Leonard scored four goals and Emily Cooke had eight points to lead top-seeded Davidson past fourth-seeded Liberty, 17-8, in the semifinals of the inaugural Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship on Friday.

The Wildcats (11-6) advance to Sunday's championship match and will play No. 2 seed High Point, which defeated Longwood 17-7 in the second semifinal game, for the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. Sunday's game will air live on ESPN3 at 2:00 p.m.

Davidson's 11 wins tied the program record for most wins in a year, set in 2008.

Cooke pushed her single season school-record points mark to 85 with a pair of goals and six assists. She entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in points and fourth in assists, with her six assists giving her 53 on the year.

Leonard's four goals were a career-high, while Emma Sissman and All-Big South Second Team Alanna Parker chipped in three apiece. Ann Fucigna had four points on two goals and two assists, moving her to within in one goal of tying her single-season record of 51 last year.

Liberty closed out the year 8-10. The Flames were led by Amber Nichols' three goals, with Nina Dunay scoring a pair.

The Wildcats controlled the tempo for the first 10 minutes and scored on 11 of its first 12 shots. Cooke, the Big South Offensive Player of the Year, got the scoring started with a goal at the 29:37 mark on a feed from Parker to give Davidson an early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats moved ahead 2-0 just 21 seconds later on Sissman's score. Davidson went up 3-0 on Cooke's second goal of the game at 27:14. Parker pushed the advantage to 4-0 to force a Liberty timeout at the 25:40 mark.

Davidson moved ahead 5-0 when Leonard cut through the arc and sent Jean Atkinson's pass past Liberty goalkeeper Kristen Masullo at 22:52. The Wildcats would eventually increase the lead to 6-0, before Liberty's Kacie Fogle's goal at 20:13 put the Lady Flames on the scoreboard. Davidson moved ahead 7-1 on Parker's second score of the day at 17:27 and tacked on five more goals in the final 13 minutes for a 12-2 halftime lead.

Liberty won the opening draw of the second half and cut the deficit to single digits at 27:58 on Dunay's goal. Sissman regained the 10-goal advantage for the Wildcats just 27 seconds later to make the score 13-3. The Lady Flames got the goal back on Nichols' second score of the game at 23:13, but Davidson again countered to make the score 14-4.

The teams continued its back-and-forth scoring for much of the remainder of the half, with Liberty scoring the final goal of the half to get it under the 10-goal deficit.

Melby registered nine saves between the pipes to go with three groundballs as she won her 11th game of the season. Three players in all had three groundballs as Davidson collected 20 overall compared to Liberty's 17, but the Lady Flames led in draw controls (17-10).

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DAVIDSON, N.C. Despite a hat trick from senior captain Amber Nichols, No. 4 seed Liberty fell to top-seeded Davidson, 17-8, in the semifinals of the Big South Lacrosse Championship on Friday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.

The Lady Flames conclude the season with an 8-10 overall record, marking the highest single-season win total in program history. Davidson improves to 11-6 and advances to Sunday's title game against the winner of No. 2 seed High Point and No. 3 seed Longwood.

The Wildcats jumped on the scoreboard quickly, scoring a pair of goals in the opening 45 seconds of the contest. Davidson added two more scores to extend its advantage to 4-0, forcing Liberty head coach Regan Denham to use a timeout with 4:20 expired in the first half.

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2013-04-26



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