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Liberty Falls in Overtime, 2-1
After the Flames scored with less than five minutes left in regulation to force overtime, the Radford Highlanders edged Liberty with a goal 1:34 into the extra period for a 2-1 victory, Wednesday evening in a Big South contest at Osborne Stadium.
Trailing 1-0 during the 86th minute, Liberty defender Alex Dominguez sent a crossing pass from the left side of the field into the center of the 18-yard box. Midfielder Sachem Wilson, the Flames' leading scorer, headed the ball into the upper left corner of the net, tying the game at 1-1. For Wilson, it was his ninth of the year.
However, in overtime, the visiting Highlanders were able to force a turnover near the top of the box. Midfielder Luis Grande pushed a pass forward for Bernardo Ulmo, who scored the golden goal, his eighth of the season to give Radford the victory.
Liberty drops to 5-5 in the Big South and 9-8 overall. The contest was the final game of the 2013 regular season for the Flames. Radford moves to 4-3-2 in conference play and 7-6-4 overall.
Before the game, Liberty recognized the eight seniors who were playing their last home game in a Flames uniform. Liberty seniors Josiah Austin, Kyle Breitmeyer, Sam Chappell, Sam Duininck, Juan Nino, Henry Reyes, Jr., Jonatan Torres and Tanner Wilcox were honored.
In addition, the Flames honored assistant coach Dean Short, who was coaching in his final home game with the program. Short, who also played four years at Liberty (1998-2001), is leaving after 10 years as an assistant on head coach Jeff Alder's staff.
The first half opened with each team testing the goalkeepers early. The Highlanders fired the first attempt of the game, with the Flames following with two shot attempts, starting during the 10th minute. Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Lee and Radford goalkeeper Dane Wilson turned each attempt away.
During the 13th minute, the Highlanders pressured the Flames' defense, with three straight corner kicks. Liberty cleared the third and final corner during the 14th minute, keeping the contest scoreless.
After a shot by Liberty's Breitmeyer went high during the 26th minute, the contest settled into the midfield, with neither team generating any scoring chances.
The half closed with Flames midfielder Torres heading a corner kick by midfielder Tim Harbison wide during the 41st minute.
Liberty held a 5-3 advantage in shots during the opening half, while Radford enjoyed a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.
Early in the second half, Sachem Wilson forced a save by a Radford defender during the 59th minute. The Flames sophomore took a pass into the box and lifted a shot, which a Highlander defender was able to get in front of at the goal line, thwarting a score.
Radford broke the scoreless tie during the 72nd minute. Off a corner kick into the center of the 18-yard box, defender Daniel O'Keefe scored his first goal of the season, heading the ball into the left side of the net for a 1-0 visitor lead.
Liberty had a scoring chance during the 74th minute, but Highlander keeper Dane Wilson stopped a shot by midfielder Tahouna to maintain the visitors' advantage.
Twelve minutes later, Sachem Wilson scored on the pass by Dominguez to tie the score to send the game to overtime at 87:59.
In overtime, Sachem Wilson lifted the first shot of the extra period high during the 91st minute.
Less than a minute later, Ulmo scored, providing Radford the win.
Liberty outshot Radford, 12-11, in the contest. The visiting Highlanders held a 10-6 edge in corner kicks on the evening.
Lee made four saves on the night for the Flames, while Dane Wilson recorded six saves for the Highlanders.
Liberty will now await the conclusion of the 2013 Big South regular season on Saturday to determine the seeding and match-ups for the Big South Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinals. The contest will played next Tuesday on the home field of the higher seed.