Oct 28, 2008

A win and a tie highlight successful men’s soccer week

by Chris Wong

On Tuesday, Liberty battled against Big South rival Gardner-Webb and cruised to a 3-0 shutout win behind two goals from Boateng and another by junior Juan Guzman. The Bulldogs, who entered the game in first place in the conference, were unable to muster up any offense against a stifling Flames defense.

Early in the first, Liberty took an aggressive route with a goal at the start of the game. McGarry took the ball at midfield and kicked a long pass to Boateng, who took the ball towards the Gardner-Webb goalkeeper, creating a one-on-one situation. Boateng got the ball past the goalie Dane Geraci, allowing Liberty to gain an early 1-0 lead with just three minutes elapsed in the first half.

Gardner-Webb played a hard-fought half that challenged the officiating crew to make calls.

“They’re on top of their game. They’re the leaders of the Big South, so everyone is trying to chase them, and get something from them,” said Boateng.

In the second half of play, Chorak passed the ball to senior Cameron Chastain who found Guzman behind him. Guzman fielded the ball and blasted a one-timer into the upper left corner of net, giving Liberty a 2-0 lead and marking his first goal of the year.
Less than 20 seconds later, Liberty penetrated Gardner-Webb’s defense again. This time, Chorak forced a turnover and then passed the ball to an open Boateng, who, after a couple of nifty moves, tipped the ball past Geraci for his second goal of the night. Liberty would go on to claim a 3-0 upset victory over the visiting Bulldogs, improving their record to 8-5 overall.

The defensive effort on both sides of the ball was very competitive.

“For us it was a physical game. Both teams were competing because there was so much at stake,” said Head Coach Jeff Alder. The game ended with the Flames receiving 19 fouls and the Bulldogs receiving 14 fouls.

“For us this is a huge, huge win. Gardner-Webb was coming in as one of the top teams in the conference, and so for us we knew we were going to have to be tuned in mentally. We were going to have to try and get an early goal. Joshua Boateng scored a great early goal so we got a hold of the game early which was great,” Alder said.

Liberty’s men’s soccer team put together yet another successful week, highlighted by a shutout win over Gardner-Webb on Tuesday, 3-0 and 1-1 tie against Longwood on Friday in double overtime. Senior Joshua Boateng moved his way up in the Flames record book, as his three goals last week moved him into a tie for eighth on Liberty’s single-season goal list. Thus far, the senior has accumulated 12 goals during play this season.

On Friday, Liberty took on the Longwood Lancers. This non-conference game proved to be a formidable match-up between the two schools that brought the game into double overtime, eventually ending in a tie as neither team managed to score a goal during the overtime periods.

In the first half, both schools played the game evenly, as a total of nine shots were taken — none of which resulted in a goal. Towards the end of the first half, Liberty attacked Longwood’s goal in attempts to put something on the board.
Boateng’s kick was blocked by Longwood goalkeeper Joel Helmick while senior Daniel McGarry and freshman Karol Chorak’s attempts both sailed high over the net.

“They kept us pretty busy on the back [of our field],” said Liberty goalie Andrew Madero.

In the second half, Longwood took the lead off of a Liberty foul. Longwood’s Martin Vickerton took a penalty kick and put the first points on the board as he beat Madero, making the score 1-0. In the game’s 76th minute, freshman Alex Verville completed a crossing pass to Boateng, who kicked the ball past Helmick for a goal, tying the game at one. The goal proved to be the final score of the contest, as each team was held scoreless over the two overtime periods, resulting in a 1-1 tie.

Liberty will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 4 as it travels to VMI to take on the Keydets. Saturday, Nov. 8 will mark the final regular season home game, as the Flames play host to UNC-Asheville. 


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