Sep 15, 2009

Amoo leads way as Flames beat App. State, Rider

by Axel Cerny

The Liberty men’s soccer team concluded their first four regular season games with a strong 3-1 record before they dive into Big South play, but 3-1 is not a record that they are unfamiliar with.

In fact, the Flames have now started with a 3-1 record for the past three seasons, but certainly this year’s players would much rather emulate the club of 2007 which finished 13-5-2 winning the BSC (Big South Conference) over the results of last year’s squad who, although they finished at a respectable 10-5-3, fell short of a conference championship.

According to Liberty head coach Jeff Alder, this year’s team holds a unique characteristic, however, in that the club is “selfless and faceless.”

“We don’t have one or two guys that other teams can hone in on,” Alder said.

The Flames began the week by taking the pitch at home against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, on a beautiful night that held the remains of summer in the air.

Those who showed up were not disappointed by a strong showing from the men, and another bright day for redshirt sophomore Darren Amoo.

Only 12 minutes into play, midfielder Timothy Bullock sent a crisp cross right to the feet of Amoo, the striker from Ghana, who directed it hard off the Mountaineers goalkeeper only to rebound his shot and deposit it into the bottom right corner of the net.

Over the next few minutes, play went back and forth, with Liberty still maintaining an edge in possession, but in the 32nd minute Amoo struck again. The Flames forward pounced on a careless pass in the backfield and juked the keeper one-on-one to practically walk the ball into the net for his second goal of the night. The multi-goal game was the third for Amoo in six career games.

Liberty maintained the pressure in the second half, firing five of its 15 shots on the night in the first nine minutes of the final period, but it turned out two goals was all they would need as the contest ended in a 2-0 victory for Flames.

Alder said he was, “so proud of the collective defensive responsibility” on the night, pulling off the shutout.

But if Alder was proud of their win on Monday night, he had to have been ecstatic on Friday when, for the second straight match, the Flames did not give up a goal. This time the Liberty defense locked it down on the road, in a 4-0 victory over the Rider Broncs in the first game of the Sculley Memorial Tournament in Lexington, Va. Flames’ goals came from Travis Joseph, Phillip Aseweh, Darren Amoo and Chris Phillips.

On Sunday, the Flames soccer club took its second loss on Sunday afternoon in the conclusion of the Sculley Memorial Tournament, a tough-to-swallow 1-0 loss to St. Francis (N.Y.)
In a tightly contested game all afternoon, St. Francis was able to pull off a slight edge on a goal that Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero fought hard to stop. Madero deflected a header and the follow up shot but could not scramble in front of the second rebound, netted by Terrier midfielder Semso Nikocevik.

The loss ended an 11-game win streak for the Flames dating back to last year, and was also the first loss in Madero’s 13 career starts in the net.

The Liberty men will take their 3-1 record back home next Saturday, when they open up Big South play against Radford.

Contact Axel Cerny at axelcerny@gmail.com.

 


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