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Coastal Carolina Edges Liberty in Overtime
Liberty drops to 1-3 in conference play and 5-4 overall. Coastal Carolina remains unbeaten in conference action with a 2-0 mark and owns a 4-6 overall record.
In a contest where both teams played tight defense, shots were at a premium throughout the afternoon. Liberty opened the first half with the first shot attempt by Joshua Boateng (Sr., F, Accra, Ghana), but his opportunity sailed wide in the 10th minute. Coastal Carolina countered with a Gray Phelps header off a pass lofted into the penalty area, which Flames goalkeeper Paul Gilbert (So., Rockvale, Tenn.) grabbed out of harm's way in the 15th minute.
The Chanticleers took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Off a turnover by a Liberty defender just outside the Flames' penalty area, forward Ross Kelly pounced on the loose ball and fired a shot from 20 yards out for his second goal of the year to give Coastal Carolina an advantage.
Liberty closed the half with a shot attempt by defender Michael Gelatt (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind.) from 25 yards out, which went high.
The second half once again found tight defense, as play between the two teams was mainly confined to the neutral zone through the first 20 minutes.
During the 70th minute, the Flames came close to evening the match on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. Boateng struck the kick off the wall of Coastal Carolina defenders in front of him, back to midfielder Karol Chorak (Fr., Saint Louis, Mo.), who blasted a shot high from 25 yards out.
In the final five minutes of regulation, Liberty pressured the Chanticleers on the offensive end, before breaking through for the equalizer at 89:10 to send the contest to overtime. Chris Mandell's (R-Jr., F, Bowling Green, Va.) shot attempt from the right side of the penalty area spun up in the air and landed loose to the left side of the Coastal Carolina goal. Boateng jumped on the ball and pounded it into the lower left corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season, knotting the game at 1-1.
During overtime, the two squads each had two shot attempts through the first seven minutes of the 10-minute period. In the 98th minute, Kelly picked up a loose clearing attempt by the Liberty defense and a found himself one-on-one with Gilbert. He scored from 20 yards out for his second goal of the afternoon at 97:19, giving Coastal Carolina a 2-1 win.
In as evenly-played of a match as the score indicated, the Chanticleers outshot the Flames, 14-12, in the contest. Liberty held a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.
Flames' keeper Gilbert recorded three saves, while Coastal Carolina netminder Phillip Latham made one stop. Liberty also had a team save.
The Flames step out of conference on Tuesday. Liberty will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to square off with the No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.