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Liberty Ties High Point, 1-1
The Liberty Flames played the High Point Panthers to a 1-1, double overtime tie, on Wednesday night, at Albion Millis Stadium in the first Big South Conference match for both teams.
High Point's Chris Archer scored the first goal of the game less than one minute (00:53) into the contest. Archer corralled a deflection by a Liberty defender and sent the ball into the far corner of the goal to put the Panthers up, 1-0, early.
Liberty came close in the half, but could not break through for the equalizer as High Point took their 1-0 advantage to intermission.
In the second period, the Flames brought solid pressure on the Panthers' net with nine shots and battled back to knot the score at 1-1 in the 82nd minute. Liberty's Jeremiah Kappler (So., MF, Bear, Del.) found the back of the net off a Brandon Patterson (So., MF, Lakeland, Fla.) corner kick for his first goal of the season.
In the overtime periods, Liberty out shot High Point, 7-2, but two big saves by High Point keeper Adam Ross in the first overtime kept the Flames from scoring.
Liberty led in shots, 22-12 and held the advantage in corner kicks, 16-3. However, the Panthers held off the aggressive Flames' attack through the work of goalkeeper Ross who had seven saves on the night.
Liberty's goalkeeper, Kevin Mahan (Sr., Waterford, Mich.) had four saves in the contest.
"Our guys showed tremendous character tonight," stated Flames' head coach Jeff Alder after the match. "After we conceded the goal in the game's first minute, we settled in and played great soccer. We were able to get the equalizer and at the end of the day were unfortunate not to get the game-winning goal."
"With 22 shots and 16 corner kicks, we had a lot of opportunities, but again, High Point is a very competitive team and it is a tough place to play," continued Alder. "So, it's a fair result at the end."
"Our guys showed a lot of character and resolve in getting back in the game and having a chance to win. Their keeper made two big saves in overtime and that was the difference."
With the deadlock in their first conference game, Liberty moves to 0-0-1 in the Big South and 1-3-2 overall, while High Point moves to 0-0-1 in conference and 0-4-2 overall.
The Flames return to action on Tuesday when they play host to Southern Virginia. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Liberty Soccer Field.