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Davidson Defeats Liberty, 2-0
The Davidson Wildcats defeated the Liberty Flames, 2-0, in a non-conference men's soccer contest, Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium.
An early goal by the Wildcats in each half proved to be the difference in tightly-contested, defensive contest.
Liberty, playing without several starters due to injury, falls to 4-5 on the year. Davidson moves to 6-4-1 overall. It was the first meeting between the two schools in men's soccer since 1999.
Davidson struck for an early goal during the 8th minute. Midfielder Chris Pettiglio headed in a crossing pass from forward Mar Pragnell. Pettiglio's second goal of the season gave the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage.
Liberty's Jonatan Torres forced Davidson goalkeeper Matt Pacifici to punch the ball over the crossbar and out of play with a hard, rising shot from 35 yards out during the 24th minute. The host Wildcats cleared the ensuing corner kick to maintain their edge.
Neither team could muster much offense for the rest of the period, as the defenses for both teams held solid.
For the half, Davidson edged Liberty, 4-3, in shots, while the Flames held a 2-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Wildcats put pressure on the Liberty defense in the opening minutes of the second half. Forward Valeriy Sviderskiy took a feed from the goal line into the center of the six-yard box and popped a shot over the net during 48th minute.
In the 55th minute, Davidson extended its lead. Midfielder Alan Reiter took a pass at the top of the box and deflected a shot off a Flames defender into the net for his first goal of the year and a 2-0 lead.
Liberty was able to work a player into open space for a shot during the 72nd minute. Defender Sam Duininck moved past a Wildcat defender at the top of box and pushed a shot between two defenders, forcing a save by Davidson keeper Pacifici.
In the 80th minute, the Flames continued their pressure. Midfielder Tanner Wilcox moved into open space and ripped a shot wide off a defender for a corner kick. On the kick, Torres was able to insert the ball into the center of the box. The ball bounced off several players, before the Wildcats were able to clear.
Liberty earned another corner kick during the 85th minute, but Davidson cleared the attempt.
The Wildcats outshot the Flames, 13-5, and held a 7-6 edge on corner kicks in the match.
Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Lee played the full 90 minutes, recording two saves. Davidson's Pacifici made one save.
The Flames will next return home to begin a stretch of three straight home games. Liberty will begin the span by hosting the Winthrop Eagles at Osborne Stadium, Saturday. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m.