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Marshall and Liberty Play to Scoreless Draw
With the draw, the Flames move to 6-2-2 overall on the season, while the Thundering Herd are now 7-3-1. Both teams entered the contest ranked in their perspective regions. Liberty was listed No. 5 in this week's South Atlantic Region poll, while Marshall was ranked No. 9 in the Midwest Region.
Liberty is unbeaten at home over its last 11 contests at Liberty Soccer Field, dating back to last season. Over the span, Liberty is 9-0-2. In addition, the Flames have not allowed a goal this season in a home contest. Dating back to last season, Liberty has held its opponents scoreless in six-straight home matches, a span of 581:43.
Shots were at a premium in the opening period of play, as most of the action in the half took place in the midfield.
Liberty was able to fire five shots on the Marshall net during the period. Forward Adrian Bumbut (Sr., Zalau, Romania) put two shots on net, each forcing a save by Thundering Herd goalkeeper Craig Ratanamorn. Meanwhile, Marshall had three shot attempts in the half. Liberty keeper Paul Gilbert (Fr., Rockvale, Tenn.) made his lone save of the period on an early shot by midfielder Avneet Shergill.
The Flames carried play for the first 15 minutes of the second half, outshooting the Thundering Herd, 8-1, over the span. In the 61st minute, Liberty midfielder Daniel McGarry (Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.) had a chance in the penalty area go wide. Later in the 71st minute, an open attempt by defender Michael Gelatt (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind.) during a clearing attempt of a corner kick sailed high.
Marshall countered in the 75th minute to end Liberty's string of six-straight shot attempts. Jermaine Johnson's shot was corralled by Gilbert to keep the game scoreless.
In the last five minutes, both teams had opportunities to break onto the scoreboard. At 4:40, the Thundering Herd got a numbers advantage in transition, but was whistled offside on a pass into the penalty area.
Liberty had two late chances. McGarry fed an open Bumbut ahead of the pack in the 88th minute, but Bumbut's shot went just wide. Then as time was running out, McGarry had his shot from outside the penalty area hit off the near post.
The Flames came close to ending the contest four minutes into the first extra period, when a shot off a corner kick by McGarry hit the crossbar and went over the net.
In the second overtime session, each team was able to get off a shot, with both being blocked down out in front by defenders.
For the contest, Liberty outshot Marshall, 19-8. The Thundering Herd held a slight edge in corner kicks, 6-5.
Liberty keeper Gilbert made two saves on the afternoon. The Flames and the freshman netminder have now each recorded six shutouts on the year. Marshall goalkeeper Ratanamorn had five saves in the contest.
Liberty returns to action Monday by hosting the Columbia Union Pioneers at Liberty Soccer Field. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.