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Liberty Rolls to 3-0 Win over Gardner-Webb
Liberty, which has won three straight contests, evens its Big South mark at 3-3 and moves to 8-5 overall. Gardner-Webb, which entered the game atop the conference standings, falls to 4-2 in the Big South Conference and 5-9 overall.
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead just minutes into the match. Midfielder Daniel McGarry (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.) picked up a loose ball at midfield and lofted a long pass into the box for Boateng (Sr., F, Accra, Ghana). The forward ran down the pass and found himself, one-on-one with Bulldog goalkeeper Dane Geraci. Boateng lifted a shot over the head and out of the reach of the keeper for his 10th goal of the yea,r at 3:16.
After the early marker, the play settled between the 18-yard boxes with each team's defense not allowing many quality shots.
In the 34th minute, Liberty netminder Andrew Madero (So., Tampa, Fla.) easily corralled a header from Gardner-Webb's Miguel Pinzon for his only save of the half.
In the 43rd minute, Flames forward Karol Chorak (Fr., Saint Louis, Mo.) ripped a shot from just inside the penalty box, forcing Geraci to make a stop, his only save of the half.
During a first half where defensive play by both sides held shot attempts to a minimum, Liberty outshot Gardner-Webb, 6-2.
The Flames came close to adding to their lead, three minutes into the second half. On a corner kick, Boateng found Guzman (Jr., MF, Charlotte, N.C.) open on the far post for a shot. However, the midfielder's attempt sailed wide past the outside of the post, keeping the score 1-0, Liberty.
Three minutes later, Liberty scored back-to-back goals in a span of 17 seconds to up its advantage to 3-0. Chorak lifted a ball into the penalty area for midfielder Cameron Chastain (Sr., Millersville, Md.). The midfielder tapped the ball backwards for a shot for Guzman at the top left-hand corner of the 18-yard box. The junior midfielder shot the ball in stride, rocketing it into the upper left corner of the net for his first goal of the year at 56:08.
Just seconds after their first marker of the second half, the Flames struck for their second score and a three-goal advantage. Chorak assisted on his second goal of the evening, as he forced a turnover and flipped a pass in front of the Bulldog goal for Boateng. The senior outmaneuvered Geraci and tipped the ball into the open right corner of the net for his second goal of the game and a 3-0 Liberty lead at 56:25. The marker was Boateng's 11th of the year.
His season total ties him for 10th all-time on Liberty's single-season goal list with former Flames standout Jose Gomez, who also had 11 goals in 1998. In addition, he has scored a goal in each of Liberty's last three contests, tallying five goals over the three-game span.
Madero recorded a save on a shot by Gardner-Webb's Ryan Snodgrass in the 69th minute, which was the last shot attempt the Liberty defense allowed in recording its fourth shutout of the year.
Liberty held a 15-5 advantage in shots and a 5-2 edge in corner kicks over Gardner-Webb in the match.
Flames' goalkeeper Madero made three saves on the evening, recording his third consecutive victory. Geraci recorded four saves in the Bulldog net.
Liberty steps out of conference on Friday, as the Flames travel up Route 460 for a match against the Longwood Lancers. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.