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Flames Fall in Big South Opener, 2-1
The Big South opener for both teams, Liberty falls to 3-1 on the year and 0-1 in the conference with its first loss of the year. Radford moves to 2-2-1 on the season and 1-0 in Big South. The contest was a rematch of last year's Big South Championship, in which the Flames edged the Highlanders, 2-1, to claim their first conference championship.
After knotting the game at 1-1, a through ball into the middle of the penalty area from Aldo Macias found Iyoila Awosika, who dribbled into open space and scored from 15 yards out to give the Highlanders a 2-1 lead at the 76:12 mark.
The first half was evenly played, as each squad fired three shots over the first 45 minutes, with neither team being able to get on the scoreboard.
The Flames took a 1-0 at 57:51. A corner kick from the right side was deflected in the penalty area to midfielder Chris Phillips (R-Fr., Brownsburg, Ind.), whose pass hit Joshua Boateng (Sr., F/MF, Accra, Ghana) in stride. The midfielder buried a shot from just in front of the goal line for his second marker of the year for a 1-0 edge.
Down 1-0 with less than 20 minutes left, Radford knotted things up when a crossing pass from Emmanuel Joseph was deflected out to an open Justin Zimmer, who was scored from 15 yards out, knotting things up at one in the 75th minute.
Three minutes earlier, Liberty had a chance to take a 2-0 lead when Boateng ripped a shot from 20 yards out which Radford goalkeeper Zach Roszel was able to deflect off the goalpost.
In the tightly played contest, Liberty held a slight edge in shots, 9-8, and in corner kicks, 2-0.
Liberty goalkeeper Paul Gilbert (Fr., Rockvale, Tenn.) made three saves in the game, while Rossel recorded two stops.
Boateng led all players in the contest with six shot attempts.
Liberty returns home on Tuesday night to host the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels at Liberty Soccer Field. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.