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Liberty Tops Marshall, 3-2

September 6, 2008
|  Huntington, W.Va.
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Liberty's Justin Willoughby scored the game-winner in 3-2 win over Marshall, Saturday.

Liberty's Justin Willoughby scored the game-winner in 3-2 win over Marshall, Saturday.

Liberty forward Justin Willoughby's first goal of the season, late in the second half, broke a 2-2 tie, propelling the Flames to a 3-2 win over the Thundering Herd of Marshall, Saturday afternoon at Sam Hood Field.

Liberty remains unbeaten with the non-conference triumph, running its record to 3-0 on the year. Marshall falls to 0-3 on the season.

With the score knotted at 2-2 in the 70th minute, midfielder Juan Niño (Fr., Katy, Texas) led Willoughby (Sr., Greenville, N.C.) with a pass into the penalty area. The senior took the ball in stride and beat Thundering Herd keeper Greg Walter with a shot into the left side of the net, to give Liberty a 3-2 advantage at the 69:52 mark. Liberty then shut down the Marshall offense over the final 20 minutes of the contest for the victory.

The Flames struck first in the contest, getting on the scoreboard at the 8:56 mark. Chris Phillips (R-Fr., D/MF, Brownsburg, Ind.) found forward Darren Amoo (R-Fr., Accra, Ghana) in the center of the penalty area with a pass. The forward ran onto the ball for a shot and found the back of the net for his team-leading fourth goal of the season, for an early 1-0 Liberty advantage.

After the teams exchanged shot attempts through the middle of the first period, the Flames extended their lead to 2-0, right before intermission. Thad Taylor (So., D, Spring, Texas) found Cameron Chastain (Sr., MF, Millersville, Md.) with a pass in the penalty area. Chastain's shot ricocheted off Thundering Herd defender Dustin Dawes and went over the head of Marshall goalkeeper Walter into the goal for a Flame tally at 40:53.

Trailing 2-0 at intermission, the Thundering Herd quickly cut the Liberty edge in half, 3:49 into the second period. Marshall's Nick Daniele found Aaron Dini in the middle of the box with a pass, which the forward shot in stride and put into the top of the net, cutting the Flames' advantage to 2-1.

In the 61st minute, Liberty's Alex Verville's (Fr., F/M, Rochester Hills, Mich.) shot attempt forced a save by Walter, to keep the score 2-1, Flames.

Marshall was able to tie the contest in the 65th minute. A crossing pass from by Osric Flores went off a Liberty defender in front and into the net, knotting the score at 2-2.

After each squad was whistled off sides in the 67th minute, Liberty netminder Paul Gilbert (So., Rockvale, Tenn.) made a save on a shot attempt by Flores to keep the game deadlocked.

Less than three minutes later, Willoughby scored the game-winner for the Liberty victory.

In the contest, the Thundering Herd outshot the Flames, 14-7, with each team having three corner kicks.

Liberty keeper Gilbert recorded five saves in the match, while Marshall's Walter had one save and his team had another in the game.

The Flames open Big South Conference play Friday night, when they visit in-state rival, Radford, in a rematch of the 2007 Big South Championship title match. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.