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Liberty Rolls to 8-0 Victory Over Columbia Union
The eight-goal outburst was the largest for the Flames since also netting eight markers in an 8-1 victory over Southern Virginia on Sept. 27, 2005. In addition, Liberty continues its streak of not being scored upon at home this season. The Flames have not allowed their last seven home opponents to score at Liberty Soccer Field, dating back to last season.
With the win, Liberty ups its season mark to 7-2-2. Columbia Union falls to 9-6 on the year. Earlier in the day, the Flames were ranked for the fifth-consecutive week in the South Atlantic Region Poll. Liberty is listed in the ninth slot in the weekly poll.
Neither team could gain an advantage through the first 30 minutes of the opening period. In the most evenly played span of the contest, shots were even between the two squads at three apiece.
Liberty finally broke through in the contest's 35th minute. Midfielder Joshua Boateng (Jr., Accra, Ghana) sent a long pass over the top of the Pioneer defense, finding forward Toby Lewis (Sr., Morrision, Colo.). The senior settled the pass, sidestepped a defender and fired a shot past a diving Columbia Union goalkeeper for a 1-0 Flames advantage. The Lewis goal at the 34:54 mark, his third tally of the season, led to a late opening-half scoring burst for Liberty.
Liberty cashed in on another scoring opportunity, 1:43 later. A foul in the penalty area by the Pioneers resulted in a penalty kick for the Flames. Boateng converted the kick for his fourth goal of the season, and a 2-0 Liberty lead.
Keeping the pressure on the Columbia Union net, Liberty forced three corner kicks over the next 5:29, adding to its advantage on its third corner during the span. Midfielder Juan Guzman (So., Charlotte, N.C.) sent a crossing pass right into the center of the penalty area, which defender Chris Mandell (Jr., Bowling Green, Va.) headed into the right side of the net for a 3-0 intermission advantage. The goal was Mandell's first in a Flames uniform.
In the second half, Liberty controlled play and did not allow a single Columbia Union shot attempt, outshooting the Pioneers, 19-0.
Less than five minutes in, Liberty midfielder Daniel McGarry (Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.) burst through traffic and fed Flames leading scorer, Adrian Bumbut (Sr., F, Zalau, Romania), with a through ball. Taking the pass in stride, Bumbut beat the keeper low to his left side for his seventh goal of the year.
Liberty scored four more markers over the last 20 minutes for the final outcome of 8-0. Brandon Patterson (Sr., MF, Lakeland, Fla.) picked up a loose ball in the center of the field and netted his first goal of three goals over the next 18:30, at 70:24.
The Flames' final three goals came in an eight-minute stretch toward the end of the contest. Patterson's two other scores sandwiched the first goal of the season for Bill Pinette (Jr., MF, Fredericksburg, Va.).
Liberty fired 28 shots in the contest, while holding Columbia Union to three. Liberty goalkeeper Paul Gilbert (Fr., Rockvale, Tenn.) made two saves in 74 minutes in the Flames' net, while Panashe Nhekario did not record a save in the final 16 minutes of the game. Columbia Union keeper Davion Foster made two saves during the first half. Francis Tucker stopped five Liberty shots during the second half.
The Flames have now recorded seven shutouts this season.
Liberty returns to action on Friday in a match-up of the Big South Conference's only two unbeaten teams, when the Flames visit Coastal Carolina. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.