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The Gardner-Webb defense faced a lot of pressure from the Flames offense as Liberty defenders Greg White and Sam Duininck ran box-to-box across the field to compel their opponents. The Liberty Flames were unable to capitalize on their chances, and the match ended 0-0 after the second overtime.
“It’s a good result because we found a way to get a tie,” Liberty Head Coach Jeff Alder said. “I felt we generated enough opportunities to score. Their keeper made some really good saves, but I don’t think we took care of the ball like we should have taken care of the ball.”
The Liberty Flames outshot the Bulldogs 15-7 and managed to win nine corner kicks throughout the game. Gardner-Webb had five corner kicks and only managed to force one save from the Liberty goalkeeper.
“I thought we had some trouble connecting, but we did pretty well attacking freshman,” Tyler Bullock said. “In the final third (segment of the field), we just didn’t do well finishing.”
The Liberty offense also came close to breaking the tie six times during the game, but diving saves by Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Scott Krotee and a strong performance by the Bulldog defense kept the ball out of the net.
The game was closest to seeing a goal in the 65th minute. Liberty forward Sachem Wilson dribbled the ball and cracked a shot at the Gardner-Webb goal within the 16-yard box. Krotee punched away the inbound shot, but the rebound rolled over to an eager Kyle Breitmeyer who shot the ball back toward the goal. Not skipping a beat, Krotee once again stretched his arms to deflect Breitmeyer’s shot out of bounds.
The Liberty Flames are now 5-1-2 in the conference, with an overall record of 7-6-2, and will play against Radford University Tuesday, Oct. 30, before playing their last conference game against University of North Carolina Asheville. Liberty’s last conference game will also be their senior night, which will commemorate the graduating seniors’ careers during their stay at Liberty University.
After their senior night, the Flames will look to make a run at the Big South Championship. If the Flames are seeded in the top four teams in the tournament, they will have a chance to host another game at Osborne stadium.