Men’s soccer claims Big South Championship

Moving on — Liberty defeated Gardner-Webb 3-1 to claim its second Big South Championship. Photo credit: Scott Hill

The men’s fourth-seeded Liberty University men’s soccer team won the Big South Title in a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Gardner-Webb, Sunday.

With the win Liberty clinched their second Big South Title and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.

The journey through the tournament began with a rematch against Radford University, in which Liberty defeated Radford in penalty kicks 5-4 after a scoreless game in regulation. During the game, Liberty only allowed one shot on goal.

About a year ago, Liberty University ended their season early in the first round of the Big South Championship quarterfinals by none other than Radford University.

“Losing early in the Big South Tournament last year has left our returning guys hungry this season,” senior Chris Phillips said.

That hunger set up a win-or-go-home match against No. 1 seeded Coastal Carolina. Midfielder Travis Joseph and forward Darren Amoo both scored to edge the Flames past the Chanticleers, 2-1. The Flames defense allowed only five shots limiting Coastal Carolina’s possession of the ball.

“The thing about the tournament is that it only matters who is the best team on the day,” Phillips said.

Upsetting Coastal set up the championship match against Gardner-Webb in North Carolina.

Darren Amoo became Liberty’s all-time leading goal-scorer with a second-half score against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, pushing his career total to 37.

Phillips, Aseweh and Kyle Breitmeyer also netted goals to lift the Flames over Gardner-Webb.
The Flames defense only allowed one first-half shot on goal.

Phillips was named MVP and named to the Big South All-Tournament Team. Midfielder Juan F. Nino, defenseman Greg White and goalie Scott Sutarik also made the All-Tournament team.

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