Sep 23, 2008

Second half goals propel No. 7 Tar Heels pas Flames

by Jake Petersen

The Liberty Flames split a pair of games last week, pushing their record to 4-2 on the year. After a 4-1 loss to No. 7 ranked North Carolina University on Tuesday, the Flames rebounded for a resounding 3-0 win over Howard.

Squaring off with the Tar Heels last Tuesday, the Liberty University men’s soccer team knew they had a tough task ahead of them. Last year, the Tar Heels handed the Flames a 7-1 loss at Chapel Hill, dominating from the game’s first minute to the final whistle. This year, playing in front of the home crowd, the Flames were looking for a little revenge.

The game started with both teams fiercely battling for the upper hand and quickly became a very physical contest as four yellow cards were handed out over the 90 minutes of play.

The Flames nearly broke the tie in the 23rd minute, but senior Joshua Boateng’s close range shot was denied by Tar Heel goaltender Brooks Haggerty, keeping the game scoreless.

In the 33rd minute, however, Carolina broke loose, as Eddie Abadio took a Billy Schuler pass and sent it past Flames goalie Paul Gilbert, staking UNC to a 1-0 lead.

The Flames did not wait long to tie things up again, as Boateng found the back of the net 17 seconds later off of redshirt freshman Chris Phillips’ shot attempt.

That would be as close as the Flames would come, though, as Carolina pulled away with a goal just before halftime and later added two more goals in the second half for a 4-1 victory.

Liberty fared much better on the road against Howard University, using three first half goals to secure the dominant victory.

Freshman Juan Nino scored his first collegiate goal at the 11-minute mark, while Phillips and redshirt junior Chris Mandell also netted goals in the victory.

Phillips’ goal, his first of the season, came eight minutes later, as Nino corralled a loose ball and found the streaking midfielder for an open 40 yard shot, which he blasted past Bison goaltender Adisa Bekoe. The score gave the Flames an early 2-0 advantage which they would not relinquish.

Liberty added to its lead in the 23rd minute, as Mandell also recorded his first goal of the year after freshman Karol Chorak sent a crossing pass into the box. The forward ripped his shot past Bekoe, upping the Flames advantage to 3-0. Chorak nearly netted a goal of his own in the 24th minute, but his shot was high and bounced off the crossbar.

Gilbert notched a career-high with eight saves in this his second shutout of the season, while Bekoe recorded just two saves on the day and gave up all three goals.

The Flames open up conference play on Friday evening, as they travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for a road duel with the Winthrop Eagles at 7 p.m.


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