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Flames Power Past Knights
With the win, the Flames move to 6-5 on the year, and halt a two-game losing streak. Southern Virginia drops to 4-6-1 on the season.
After honoring its eight seniors before the game, the Flames began the contest with all eight, Mike Gelatt (D, Indianapolis, Ind.), Daniel McGarry (M, Philadelphia, Pa.), Boateng (F, Accra, Ghana), Bill Pinette (F, Fredericksburg, Va.), Cameron Chastain (M, Millersville, Md.), Douglas Nyame (D, Kumsai, Ghana), Juan Carlos Chavez (D, Lakeland, Fla.) and Willoughby (M, Greenville, N.C.), among its starting 11.
Through the opening 20 minutes of play, Liberty kept Southern Virginia hemmed in on its own end of the field, allowing the Flames to outshoot the Knights 4-1 over the span. The last three Liberty shot were unanswered, but each time Southern Virginia goalkeeper Jason Lowe was able to make the save.
In the 26th minute, Liberty appeared to break through with the game's first goal on a header off a corner kick. However, the play was whistled offside and the contest remained scoreless.
The Flames continued their attack on the Knights' net over the remainder of the half, but could not break through for a score, as the game went to intermission, 0-0. Liberty held a 9-2 edge in shots and was off sides six times during the half.
In the second half, the Flames quickly jumped on the scoreboard in the opening minutes. After Boateng was fouled in the 18-yard box, the senior forward put home the resulting penalty kick for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. The marker at 49:31 gave Liberty a 1-0 advantage.
After the score, the Flames continued to carry play. In the 55th minute, midfielder Chris Phillips (R-Fr., Brownsburg, Ind.) ripped a shot diagonally from the top right-hand corner of the box towards the far corner of the net, but a Knight defender was able to keep the ball from crossing the goal line to keep the game at 1-0.
In the 68th minute, the Flames once again came close to adding to their lead. Off a crossing pass, Boateng headed the ball from the near post off the far post to left.
Liberty added to its advantage in the 75th minute. Chris Osborne (Jr., M, York, Pa.) burst past several defenders on the left side of the field and sent a pass across the box for Boateng. All alone, the senior blasted the shot into the lower right-hand corner for his second goal of the evening for a 2-0 lead. Phillips also assisted on Boateng's eight goal of the season at 74:41.
Willoughby added the Flames' third goal of the night at 83:31. Thad Taylor (So., D, Spring, Texas) dropped a pass onto the foot of Boateng on the left side of the field. The forward placed a pass into the center of the box for an open Willoughby, who tipped the ball past Knight keeper Lowe for his third goal of the year and the final marker of the evening.
Liberty outshot Southern Virginia by the wide margin of 24-2 in the contest. The Flames also held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero (So., Tampa, Fla.), who recorded the victory in his first-ever start for the Flames, made one save in the game. Southern Virginia keeper Lowe recorded six saves.
Liberty returns to Big South Conference play on Saturday, when it visits league newcomer Presbyterian. The 1 p.m. match will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.