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Liberty Men's Soccer Host IUPUI Jaguars in Home Opener
After starting the season with a road win, the Liberty Flames men's soccer team will open their 2013 home schedule, Friday evening. The Flames, 1-0, will welcome the IUPUI Jaguars to Osborne Stadium for a 6 p.m. non-conference match.
The match will be the first meeting between the two teams in Lynchburg. The two schools met for the first time in Indianapolis, Ind., to begin the 2011 season.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats powered by StatsBroadcast will 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
A solid performance by goalkeeper Scott Sutarik and a goal by midfielder Jonatan Torres helped propel the Liberty Flames past host Georgia State, 1-0, this past Friday in their 2013 season opener.
Sutarik posted the 12th shutout of his career by making seven saves at Georgia State, Friday. The junior's save total was the second highest in a contest in his career. His single-game high of eight came last season against Campbell in a 1-0 shutout at Liberty's East Campus Fields on Oct. 5.
Torres, who is in his second season with the Flames, scored his first goal of the year off a crossing pass from Jamie Foxwell in the 81st minute to break the scoreless tie at Georgia State. For Foxwell, the assist was his first collegiate point.
The win moves Liberty alumnus Jeff Alder's record to 117-86-22. Alder is in his 13th season at the helm of the Flames.
The Flames return several key players from last season, including seven players who started 12 or more games. Among the returnees are two-time team captain Sam Duininck, goalkeeper Sutarik and last year's leading scorer Kyle Breitmeyer. The trio is joined by midfield returnees Tim Harbison, Juan Nino, Blessing Tahouna and Torres.
Last season, Breitmeyer earned all-conference and VaSID All-State second team honors. The forward compiled team-highs with 15 points and seven goals. Meanwhile, Sutarik, a two-year starter in goal for the Flames, posted a 1.13 goals-against average and five shutouts.
For the 2013 campaign, Liberty will have to rely on underclassmen. Eighteen of Liberty's 25 players are either a sophomore or freshman.
A Look at IUPUI
Located in Indianapolis, Ind., the IUPUI Jaguars have opened the year with two ties. The Jaguars opened the season with a 0-0 tie at Detroit this past Friday, before battling to a 2-2 tie with Butler this past Tuesday.
IUPUI is under the direction of former Liberty player Isang Jacob began his collegiate career as a teammate of Flames head coach Jeff Alder at Liberty in 1988 under then head coach Bill Bell. Jacobs then transferred to Indiana Wesleyan where he was a three-time All-MCC pick and two-time NCCAA All-American from 1989-1992. In his third season, Jacob has led the Jaguars to a 12-20-4 overall record.
IUPUI has been picked to finish third in the Summit League. Jacob's squad should have a decidedly new look in 2013 with the possibility of six newcomers cracking the starting 11.
The most recognizable holdover is sophomore goalie Eduardo Cortes, who earned Summit League Goalkeeper of the Year honors as a freshman in 2012. He recorded a 1.34 goals against average in 16 starts and finished the year with five shutouts. Cortes has already recorded a shutout this season and was Summit League Defensive Player of the Week, this past week.
On Tuesday, IUPUI erased a 2-0 deficit against Butler, as sophomore Lance Davis and freshman Jonny Williams each scored second-half goals in the tie.
Former Liberty Head Coach Bill Bell to be Honored
Former Liberty head coach men's soccer coach and Athletics Hall of Famer Bill Bell will be honored prior to Friday night's match. Both Liberty head coach Jeff Alder and IUPUI head coach Isang Jacob played under Bell at Liberty.
One of two coaches in Liberty Athletics history to guide his program for 20 or more seasons, Bill Bell was integral in the men's soccer program's growth, as it moved from the NCCAA to NCAA The longest tenured coach in program history, Bell led Liberty to winning seasons in 12 of his 21 years as its head coach. Liberty posted a winning record in eight of its 10 Big South Conference seasons with Bell at its helm, reaching three Big South Men's Soccer Championship games (1994, 1998 and 1999).
In 1985, he was named the South Atlantic Coach of the Year and was voted the Big South Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1999. During his tenure, he coached two All-Americans, 14 NSCAA South Atlantic All-Region players, Liberty's only Big South Men's Soccer Player of the Year and 22 Big South all-conference players.
Duininck's Answers Call
Defender Sam Duininck enters Friday's match, having started every Liberty match the past three seasons. The two-time team captain has notched 39 consecutive starting assignments.
Breitmeyer Breaks Out
Forward Kyle Breitmeyer became a consistent scoring threat for the Flames last season. Breitmeyer finished 2012, as Liberty's leading scorer with 15 points and goal scorer with seven.
The forward scored at least one goal in four consecutive games from Oct. 5 to Oct. 23, posting his first career multi-goal game in 2-1 win at Presbyterian College on Oct. 12.
Breitmeyer scored five of his seven goals in Big South Conference games, helping Liberty post a 6-1-3 conference record and go unbeaten over a nine-game stretch (6-0-3) to end the regular season.
A Look Ahead
Liberty will head out on the road for a three consecutive games, starting next Wednesday with a non-conference match at Wofford. The Flames will start their Big South schedule at Gardner-Webb in the middle contest of the stretch, next Saturday. Liberty will finish the span at American in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21.