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Flames to Host the 1st of 4 Ranked Teams with No. 25 Davidson, Saturday
The Liberty men's soccer team will host the first of four teams currently ranked nationally, when the Flames host the No. 25 Davidson Wildcats, Saturday. Match time is scheduled for Noon at Osborne Stadium.
The Wildcats (2-0-2) entered the week ranked No. 25 by SoccerAmerica. Later this season, the Flames (4-0-1) will host American and Coastal Carolina, ranked No. 12 and No. 18, respectively, by the NSCAA and Campbell which was listed No. 25 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll this week.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats will be powered by StatBroadcast will be available for the contest by clicking the appropriate link on the men's soccer schedule/results panel of LibertyFlames.com.
Liberty Flames Sports Network's Alan York talked with head coach Jeff Alder and freshman Bay Kurtz to preview this Saturday's game against Davidson and look back at last weekend's Sculley Memorial Tournament.
A Look at Liberty
After defeating Robert Morris and USC Upstate at last weekend's Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament in Lexington, Va., Liberty enters Saturday's contest with a 4-0-1 record. The Flames' mark is the program's best start to a campaign since 1997, when Liberty started the year 8-0, on the way to a 13-4 overall record.
The Flames were ranked 10th in the South Regional Poll, this week. Eight of the 10 teams ranked in the regional poll are also appear in the national poll.
This past Friday, the Flames' Sachem Wilson scored his second goal of the season with less than two minutes left in regulation to tie Liberty's contest with Robert Morris at 1-1. His goal at 88:52 sent the contest to overtime, where Blessing Tahuona netted his first goal of the year at 92:51 in the first overtime to give Liberty a 2-1 win.
Sunday, Liberty jumped out to a 2-0 advantage on goals by Khalil Karl and a Spartan own goal on its way to a 3-1 victory over USC Upstate. Ernest Siaw scored his first goal of the year off a corner kick in the second half of the Flames' victory.
Liberty entered the week with a Big South-leading 14 goals and is second in the conference in goals allowed with five. The Flames ranked sixth nationally in goals in the latest NCAA Division I statistical report. Liberty has tallied two or more goals in each of its five games this season.
Ten different Liberty players have scored at least one goal in 2014. Karl leads Liberty with two goals and an assist for five points. Tim Harbison, Jovanni Chavez, Troy Reeves and Wilson have each compiled four points. Harbison and Wilson join Karl with two goals, while Chavez and Reeves have each scored a goal and lead the Flames with two assists apiece.
Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik has posted a 0.95 goals-against average and recorded one shutout this season.
Liberty alumnus Jeff Alder is in his 14th season at the helm of the Flames. Liberty has posted a 131-92-23 mark during his tenure.
A Look at Davidson
The Wildcats will come to Lynchburg on Saturday with a 2-0-2 record. Davidson had its match against Wake Forest postponed due to inclement weather, Tuesday.
Davidson's match with Liberty will be the first road contest for the Wildcats this season. Their match with the Flames is the first of four consecutive road matches for Davidson.
The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 7-4, and have posted a 0.98 goals-against average during their first four matches of the year.
Head coach Matt Spear is in his 14th year at Davidson. Spear has led the Wildcats to a 116-120-24 mark during his tenure, including a 2-0 victory over Liberty last season at Davidson.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series with the Flames, 4-3, after defeating Liberty, 2-0, last season. The contest was the first meeting between the two schools since 1999.
This week, the Flames were ranked among the NSCAA South Region's top teams in the latest regional rankings. Liberty was listed 10th in the region.
Arguably the toughest region in the country, the South Region has eight teams ranked nationally this week. North Carolina heads the South regional poll and is ranked No.1 in the national poll.
Spreading the Wealth
Liberty has had 10 players score at least one goal this season. The Flames have outscored their opponents, 14-5, so far in 2014. Liberty leads the Big South in goals and is ranked sixth nationally in total goals.
In addition, six different Flames have netted their first goal in a Liberty uniform this season. Freshmen Alan Arellano, Jovanni Chavez, Bay Kurtz and Troy Reeves along with transfer Khalil Karl and junior defender Jamie Foxwell have all scored the first goal of their collegiate careers.
Perfect at Patchin
With a 2-0 weekend at the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament, the Flames finished the year 3-0 at Patchin Field in Lexington, Va., the home of the VMI Keydets. Not only did the Flames defeat Robert Morris and USC Upstate in neutral site matches at the field, but Liberty defeated VMI there on Sept. 2, 5-0.
The Flames' five goals in the contest were the most by a Liberty team in a game since a 9-0 win over Southern Virginia on Sept. 20, 2011.
Flames News and Notes
- Jovanni Chavez and Troy Reeves are two of the nine players tied for the Big South lead in assists with two.
- Newcomers continue to make their mark. In Liberty's contest against USC Upstate on Sunday, the Flames had eight players see action who were not on their roster in 2013.
- Liberty saw back-to-back matches to go overtime, last week. On Sept. 7, the Flames played their first overtime contest of the season at Marshall, finishing with a 2-2 tie, before defeating Robert Morris in their next match, 2-1, Friday. It is the first time since Nov. 2 and 6, 2012 that the Flames have had back-to-back contests go past regulation.
- Saturday's match will be the first meeting between Liberty and Davidson in Lynchburg since 1999. The Flames defeated the Wildcats, 2-1 in that meeting. Davidson will be the first ranked opponent to come to Lynchburg since No. 19 Coastal Carolina visited on Sept. 19, 2012.
- Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik has amassed 17 shutouts during his career. The senior ranks fourth on the program's all-time list. He needs two more to tie Dean Short for third place.
- Midfielder Tim Harbison netted two goals for the Flames at VMI on Sept. 2, the first multi-goal game by a Liberty player in 2014 and the second of the junior's career. Harbison also made his 40th consecutive start in the contest.
- In its lone home match of the year, Liberty defeated Bluefield, 2-1, in its season opener on Aug. 29. The Flames have eight home games scheduled for 2014. Last year, Liberty posted a 5-2 mark at Osborne Stadium.
A Look Ahead
Liberty will next host the Howard Bison at Osborne Stadium, Tuesday. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Flames will then start Big South Conference play on Sept. 27 by traveling to Rock Hill, S.C. for a match with the Winthrop Eagles. Match time at Eagle Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.