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Liberty Heads to Bryan Park for Big South Men's Soccer Final Four

November 14, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty will take on Longwood in the second semifinal of the Big South Men's Soccer Championship, Friday at Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Greensboro, N.C.

The No. 7 seed Liberty Flames men's soccer team will face the No. 3 seed Longwood Lancers in the second Big South Men's Soccer Championship semifinal, Friday evening at Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Greensboro, N.C.  The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

The winner advances to the Big South Championship final against the winner of Friday's first semifinal between No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina and No. 5 seed Radford, Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. 

How to Follow the Flames
Friday evening's contest will be video streamed live on the Big South Network free of charge. The broadcast can be accessed by clicking on the video link under men's soccer on LibertyFlames.com.

In addition, live stats will also be provided.  They can be accessed by clicking on the live stats link under men's soccer on LibertyFlames.com.

Sunday's title game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

A Look at Liberty
Liberty advanced to Friday's Big South semifinal with a 1-0 win over No. 2 seed High Point, Tuesday evening in High Point, N.C.

A strong defensive effort keyed the Liberty victory.  Junior Scott Sutarik, playing in his first game since Oct. 1 due to injury, tied a season high with seven saves in the contest and along with a solid performance from his teammates on the defensive end, recorded the Flames' sixth shutout of the season.

Forward Sachem Wilson netted his team-leading 10th goal during the 22nd minute in the win. Wilson put in a rebound of a shot by defender Jamie Foxwell after a Liberty corner kick.

The victory moved the Flames to 10-8 on the season. With its win Tuesday, Liberty has posted 10 or more victories in six out of its last six seasons. The Flames have advanced past the first round of the conference tournament in six of the last eight years.

Midfielder Sachem Wilson has paced the Flames in goals and points for most of 2013.  The sophomore enters Friday night's contest with 10 goals and three assists for 23 points.  Wilson's goals and points are the most by a Liberty player since Darren Amoo scored 12 goals and compiled 27 points in 2010.

Sophomore defender Tim Harbison follows Wilson with 10 points on four goals and two assists. Both are career highs for the defender.

Midfielder Blessing Tahuona and forward Kyle Breitmeyer have scored three goals each.  Forward Tyler Bullock has netted two goals to round out the multi-goal scorers for the Flames this season.  In total, nine Flames have netted a goal this season.

Tahuona leads the Liberty with four assists on the year, while midfielder Jonatan Torres and Wilson have three assists each.  The Flames have had 11 different players record an assist in 2013.

Sutarik has started six games between the goal posts for the Flames this season.  The junior has posted a 0.95 goals-against average and .833 save percentage.  He has been in goal for four of Liberty six shutouts this season.

Before Tuesday, Jeremy Lee had started the previous nine contests and 10 games in 2013 for Liberty. The redshirt freshman has posted a 1.40 goals-against average and .700 save percentage. 

Liberty has recorded six shutouts, all coming in victories this season.  As a team, Liberty enters Friday's game with a 1.26 goals-against average.

Liberty's Jeff Alder is in his 13th year as head coach at his alma mater.  Alder has posted a 126-94-22 career record, while heading the Flames' program. He has led Liberty to its only two Big South titles, capturing the championship in 2007 and 2011.

Liberty in the Big South Championship
Since joining the Big South Conference for men's soccer in 1991, Liberty is 23-17-3 in Big South Championship matches. Including this year, the Flames have posted a 9-3-2 record at the tournament during the past seven seasons, reaching the title game three times during the span (2007, 2009 & 2011).

Liberty has reached the title game seven times in program history, winning the Big South crown twice in 2007 and 2011. Liberty won its first Big South crown with a 2-1 victory over Radford on Nov. 18, 2007 at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C. In 2011, Liberty captured its second Big South title with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb at Greene-Harbison Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. on Nov. 13. 

The Flames' most common opponent in the Big South tournament has been the Winthrop Eagles. The two teams have split their 11 tournament meetings, 5-5-1. Liberty has faced Radford the second most times, nine, in the tournament and has posted a 5-2-2 mark against the Highlanders.

Liberty Against the 2013 Big South Championship Field in Tournament
Coastal Carolina.................... 1-1
Longwood.............................. 0-0
Radford.............................. 5-2-2

Liberty in the Big South
The Flames are 98-56-14 in Big South play and 141-80-27 all-time against the current membership of the Big South Conference.

The most common opponent in the history of the Liberty men's soccer program has been fellow Commonwealth member Radford.  The Flames and Highlanders have met 46 times, with Liberty holding a 22-16-8 record all-time. Liberty has faced Radford 11 more times than any other school in program history.

Big South member Winthrop is the second most faced opponent for the Flames.  The Eagles have played each other 35 time, with the Flames holding a 21-11-3 mark in the all-time series.
 

Liberty All-time Against Big South Membership
Campbell............................................. 9-11-1
Coastal Carolina.................................. 8-16-1
Gardner-Webb...................................... 9-5-2
High Point.......................................... 13-11-4
Longwood............................................ 14-3-3
Presbyterian College............................. 6-0-0
Radford............................................. 22-16-8
UNC Asheville..................................... 22-5-3
VMI...................................................... 17-2-2
Winthrop............................................ 21-11-3
All-Time........................................ 141-80-27

Sutarik Returns
Tuesday night, junior goalkeeper Scott Sutarik returned to the Liberty lineup after missing several weeks of action due to an injury suffered in 3-1 loss to High Point at Vert Stadium on Oct. 1. 

This time was drastically different for Sutarik as he tied his season high with seven saves, helping to lead the Flames to a 1-0 win over High Point at Vert Stadium. He recorded his fourth shutout in six games this season in the victory.

With his shutout Tuesday, Sutarik enters Friday night's Big South semifinal tied for fourth all-time at Liberty with 15 career shutouts.  In addition, he lowered his career goals-against average to 0.91 and currently ranks third all-time in program history.

Duininck Answers Call
Defender Sam Duininck heads into Friday night's contest, having started every one of the Flames' matches the past three seasons. The senior and two-time team captain will be among Liberty's starting 11 for the 56th time in a row for the Flames, Friday evening.

Road Runners
Liberty has played 11 of its 18 games on the road this season, posting a 5-6 record.  Head Coach Jeff Alder's team opened 2013 by playing seven of its first nine games on the road.

Liberty enters Friday night's contest having won its last two road outings.  The Flames won 3-1 at Campbell on Nov. 2 in their final regular season road game, before advancing to Friday evening's Big South Semifinal matchup with their 1-0 win at High Point, Tuesday.

Relying on Youth
For the 2013 campaign, Liberty has relied on underclassmen. 17 of Liberty's 26 players are either a sophomore or freshman.

Of Liberty's expected starting 11, two are freshman (Defenders Alex Dominguez and David Gray) and four are sophomores (Jamie Foxwell, Tim Harbison, Blessing Tahuona and Sachem Wilson).

Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik is the only junior on Liberty's current roster.

Duininck, Niño Named Big South All-Conference
Liberty defender Sam Duininck and midfielder Juan Niño have been selected to 2013 Big South All-Conference teams.  Duininck earned first team selection, while Niño was named to the second team.

A two-time Liberty team captain, Duininck was named to the all-conference team for the first time. The senior defender has started every Flames contest this season and has been among the Liberty starting 11 for 55 consecutive contests.

The Tulsa, Okla. native has scored one goal and added one assist this season.  His goal was the game-winner in a 1-0 win at American on Sept. 21. In addition, he has been part of six shutouts this season.

Niño receives his first all-conference honor. The midfielder has started and played in 17 games this season. A strong defensive presence and midfield fixture for Liberty, the senior has two assists. One of his assists led to the game-winning overtime goal in a 2-1 victory over Longwood on October 29.

In addition, he was selected to the 2013 men's soccer All-Academic team.  The Katy, Texas native is a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member.

One Last Run
All three members of Liberty's coaching staff are Liberty graduates.  Head Coach Jeff Alder graduated from Liberty in 1991, while assistant coach Dean Short is a 2002 graduate and assistant coach Andrew Madero is a 2010 graduate.  
After 10 years as an assistant on Alder's staff, Short will be leaving Liberty to pursue full-time missions work this spring. He also spent four seasons as a goalkeeper with the Flames and is one of three Liberty players to earn three first team Big South All-Conference selections.

2013 Big South Men's Soccer Championship
Tuesday, Nov. 12 (at Highest Seeds)

Game 1: No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb 1 vs. No. 5 seed Radford 2 (OT)
Game 2: No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina 2 vs. No. 8 seed Winthrop 1
Game 3: No. 2 seed High Point 0 vs. No. 7 seed Liberty 1
Game 4: No. 3 seed Longwood 2 vs. No. 6 seed Campbell 2
               (Longwood advances on PKs, 4-1)

Friday, Nov. 15 (Bryan Park, Greensboro, N.C.)
Game 5: No. 5 seed Radford vs. No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina, 4 p.m.
Game 6: No. 7 seed Liberty vs. No. 3 seed Longwood, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 17 (Bryan Park, Greensboro, N.C.)
Game 7: winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, 2 p.m.