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Coastal Carolina Edges Liberty, 2-1
With the setback, Liberty drops to 2-1 in the Big South and 7-3-2 on the season. Coastal Carolina, who has won its last four contests, moves to 3-0 in conference and 5-5-1 overall.
The Chanticleers jumped on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the contest. On the first shot of the game for either team, forward MKokheli Dube netted his first goal of the match on a bicycle kick off a cross. Defender Robert Holstein and midfielder Djamel Bekka assisted on the play at 1:47 for a 1-0 Coastal Carolina advantage.
In the 23rd minute, Dube tallied his second goal of the game to extend the hosts' lead to 2-0. After a shot by Kevin Van Den Berg hit the post, Dube scored the loose ball for his eighth goal of the season at 22:36.
Liberty fired eight shots in the opening period. Forward Toby Lewis (Sr., Morrison, Colo.) may have had the best chance of the half to put the Flames on the board in the 27th minute, as his shot forced the lone save of the half by Coastal Carolina keeper Matt Smith.
Liberty cut the Chanticleer advantage in half in the 60th minute. Off a corner kick by Brandon Patterson (Sr., MF, Lakeland, Fla.), a shot by Chris Mandell (Jr., D, Bowling Green, Va.) hit off the post. Lewis cleaned up the rebound for his fourth goal of the season to make it, 2-1.
After the goal, the Flames continued to press the Coastal Carolina net, while netminder Paul Gilbert (Fr., Rockvale, Tenn.) turn away shots Wesley Kent and Dube down the stretch to keep Liberty within striking distance.
Liberty forced five saves from Smith in the last 30 minutes, including three late in the contest. A header by Mandell with two seconds left was stopped by the Chanticleer keeper to preserve the Coastal Carolina victory.
For the game, the Flames held a 16-9 shot advantage and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. Gilbert recorded two saves in the Liberty net, while Smith recorded six saves in his first career start.
The Flames continue their three-game road swing with a Big South Conference match-up at UNC Asheville, Thursday night. Game time at Greenwood Field is set for 4 p.m.