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Liberty to Host Howard, Tuesday
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will host the Howard Bison at Osborne Stadium, Tuesday. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames
A free live video stream courtesy of the Liberty Flames Sports Network and the Big South Network will be available by clicking the appropriate link on the schedule/results panel under men's soccer on LibertyFlames.com.
Live stats powered by StatBroadcast will also be available for the contest by clicking the appropriate link on the men's soccer schedule/results panel of LibertyFlames.com.
A Look at Liberty
Liberty, 4-1-1, fell for the first time in 2014, Saturday. Despite the Flames taking an early 1-0 advantage, the No. 25 Davidson Wildcats used two second half goals to defeat Liberty 2-1, Saturday at Osborne Stadium. It was also the first time, Liberty, which is second in the Big South Conference in goals scored, did not net two or more goals in a contest this season.
The Flames were ranked 10th in the latest South Regional Poll. Eight of the 10 teams ranked in the regional poll also appear in the national poll.
Liberty enters the week having outscored its opponents, 15-7. The Flames lead the Big South Conference in goals per game with a 2.50 average and are second in goals allowed with a 1.12 goals per game average. Liberty ranks 14th nationally in goals scored.
Four different Flames have netted two goals apiece, while 10 different Liberty players have scored at least one goal in 2014. With his second goal of the year on Saturday, Bay Kurtz is tied with Khalil Karl for the team lead in points with five. Tim Harbison and Sachem Wilson have also netted two goals apiece. Jovanni Chavez and Troy Reeves lead the Flames with two assists apiece.
Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik has posted a 1.12 goals-against average and recorded one shutout this season. Sutarik recorded a season-high six saves against Davidson, Saturday.
Liberty alumnus Jeff Alder is in his 14th season at the helm of the Flames. Liberty has posted a 131-93-23 mark during his tenure.
A Look at Howard
The Bison, 0-8-1, enter Tuesday's contest after tying at VMI, 2-2, Saturday. All eight of Howard's contests have been on the road this season.
Head coach Phillip Gyau is in his first season heading his alma mater.
Liberty and Howard will meet for the seventh straight season, Tuesday night. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 6-6. However, the Flames have won all six matches between the two teams since the series resumed in 2008, including a 3-0 victory over Howard
at Osborne Stadium last season.
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, 15-7, so far in 2014.
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.
The 1st of 4
Davidson was the first of four teams currently ranked nationally that the Flames will host this season. The Wildcats were ranked No. 25 by SoccerAmerica.
Later this season, the Flames 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.
Flames News and Notes
• Tuesday's match will be the Flames' third home contest of the year. Liberty is 1-1 at Osborne Stadium this season.
• Newcomers continue to make their mark. The Flames have had seven players see significant minutes in five or more matches that were not on the roster last season.
• Liberty saw back-to-back matches go to overtime, Sept. 7 and 12. The Flames played their first overtime contest of the season at Marshall, finishing with a 2-2 tie on Sept. 7, before defeating Robert Morris in their next match, 2-1, Sept.12. It is the first time since Nov. 2 and 6, 2012 that the Flames have had back-to-back contests go past regulation.
• 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.
• Sutarik enters the week with a career 0.94 goals-against average. He ranks third on the program's all-time list. Assistant Coach Andrew Madero tops the list with a 0.52 goals-against average. Madero played for the Flames from 2008-09.
• Midfielder and team captain 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 will be making his 45th consecutive start, Tuesday night. The junior has been among Liberty's starting 11 in every game of his Flames' career.
A Look Ahead
Liberty will open Big South Conference play, Saturday. The Flames will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for a conference match against the Winthrop Eagles. The Eagles entered the week with a 5-2 record. Match time at Eagle Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.