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Liberty Downs USC Upstate, 3-1
The Liberty Flames raced out to a 2-0 advantage early en route to a 3-1 victory over USC Upstate in Game 3 of the Sculley Memorial Tournament at VMI's Patchin Field, Sunday.
Liberty moves to 4-0-1 on the season. The start is the best for the Flames since a 3-0-1 start to begin the 2010 campaign. In addition, Liberty goes 3-0 at VMI's Patchin Field this season. Besides today's win, the Flames defeated VMI, 5-0, on Sept.2 and Robert Morris, 2-1 in overtime, on Friday at the field. USC Upstate falls to 1-2-1 on the year.
Liberty struck early during the contest. On a free kick from 25 yards out near the left sideline, Karl dropped the kick over the Spartans' goalkeeper's head for a 1-0 advantage at 1:37.
Carrying play throughout the early part of the opening half, Liberty's attack netted its second score of the contest during the 21st minute. Flames' defender Conner Fleming sent a crossing pass through the 18-yard box, which hit a USC Upstate defender and deflected in to give Liberty a 2-0.
The Spartans cut into the Flames' edge during the 30th minute. Midfielder Joe Brinksworth took a pass from the midfield at the top right corner of the box and lined a shot into the top left corner of the goal, slicing Liberty's lead to 2-1.
USC State goalkeeper Jack Rubin kept his team's deficit at one goal during the 41st minute. Off a corner kick, a header by Flames' forward Sachem Wilson was deflected away from the goal by Rubin. The rebound came down in front of the net and was shot by David Maharaj, only to batted off the goal line by Rubin. Maharaj tried again to put the loose ball past Rubin, but the Spartans' keeper blocked the shot with his body, preventing the Flames from adding to their advantage.
Just like the first half, Liberty netted a goal during the opening minutes of the second half. During the 50th minute, a corner kick by Flemming found the head of Siaw who found the upper right corner to push Liberty's advantage to 3-1.
Pushing extra players forward in search of cutting into Liberty's lead, the Spartans generated their best scoring opportunity during the 84th minute. USC Upstate was able to create a shot attempt for midfielder Eli Cochran at the top of the box. Flames' goalkeeper Scott Sutarik saw the attempt and smothered it, helping to seal Liberty's 3-1 win.
Liberty held a 16-8 advantage in shots and a 9-3 edge in corner kicks in the contest.
Sutarik made two saves for Liberty, while Rubin recorded seven saves for USC Upstate.
After a 3-0-1 road swing, the Flames will return home on Saturday for a match with the Davidson Wildcats. Match time at Osborne Stadium is scheduled for Noon.