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Liberty Edged by VMI, 3-2
Despite goals from Blessing Tahouna and Sachem Wilson, the VMI Keydets broke a 2-2 tie with a marker in the 87th minute, en route to a 3-2 victory over the Liberty Flames, Tuesday night at Osborne Stadium.
Tahouna's goal in the first half was his first of the season, while Wilson, the Flames' leading scorer, netted his fourth goal of the year in the second half.
Liberty drops to 0-2 in Big South Conference play and 3-3 overall. VMI moves to 1-1 in conference play and 1-6-1 overall.
After Flames midfielder Jonathan Torres had a shot turned aside by Keydet goalkeeper Daniel Kitchen during the fourth minute, VMI jumped onto the Osborne Stadium scoreboard during the 10th minute. Midfielder Aaron White lofted a free kick from 30 yards out on the right side of the field into the middle of the 18-yard area, where midfielder Blake McCauley headed the ball into the top of the net for his second goal of the year and a 1-0 advantage.
In the 28th minute, the host Flames knotted the contest. Defender Jaime Foxwell found Tahouna with a long throw-in into the center of the box. The midfielder quickly gathered the pass and scored into the left-hand corner to even the game at 1-1.
During the 37th minute, Torres ripped a shot from the top of the box, hitting the crossbar. The VMI defense quickly controlled the rebound and cleared the ball, as the teams went to intermission tied.
Liberty went in front on Wilson's goal during the 59th minute. The midfielder pounced on a loose ball in the midfield and hooked into the center of the field, ripping a shot into the open right side of the net for a 2-1 advantage.
The Flames had another opportunity to add to their advantage in the 67th minute. Off a corner kick, Tanner Wilcox's header just popped over the crossbar and out of bounds.
VMI tied the contest during the 70th minute. Midfielder Andrew Starnes moved into the right side of the box toward the post and fed a pass into the middle of the penalty area. Forward Kyle Forche shot in stride, scoring his first goal of the year and knotting the contest at 2-2.
The Keydets then went ahead on what proved to be the go-ahead goal during the 87th minute. Off a free kick towards the far post from the left side of the field, Alex Hartman kept the ball alive with a bicycle kick, pushing the ball to left post for Forche, who scored to give VMI a 3-2 lead at 86:44.
Liberty held an 18-8 advantage over VMI in shots and a 7-2 edge in corner kicks.
Goalkeeper Sam Chappell made one save for the Flames' in net. Kitchen recorded five saves for the Keydets.
Liberty returns to the road on Saturday. The Flames travel to Asheville, N.C. for an afternoon contest against Big South opponent UNC Asheville. Match time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.