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Flames to Open Preseason Practice Saturday
After finishing 2008 with an eight-game unbeaten streak, the Flames will be looking to capture their second Big South crown in three years and record a double-digit victory total for the third consecutive year in 2009. Liberty's eight-game unbeaten streak was the seventh-longest unbeaten streak in the nation to end the regular season in 2008.
Head Coach Jeff Alder will open preseason practice with a roster of 26 players, 20 of which return from last season's 10-5-3 squad.
Among those returning for the Flames is two-time South Atlantic All-Region midfielder Juan Guzman (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.), defender Michael Ward (R-Sr., Seffner, Fla.), a three-year starter, and junior goalkeepers Andrew Madero (Tampa, Fla.) and Paul Gilbert (Rockvale, Tenn.) Madero led the Big South Conference with a 0.68 goals against average last season, while Gilbert was the 2007 Big South Freshman of the Year.
Alder's team will also have six new additions when it opens preseason practice – Virginia Tech transfer Phillip Aseweh (So., F/M, Navrongo, Ghana), along with freshmen Uriah Bentick (D, Port of Spain, Trinidad), Kyle Breitmeyer (M, Plymouth, Mich.), Seth Buckmaster (F, Suffolk, Va.,) Zack Clark (M/D, Rock Hill, S.C.) and Travis Joseph (F/M, Laentille, Trinidad).
Liberty will begin its 2009 season Sept. 1 against the Concord Mountain Lions at Osborne Stadium at 7 p.m. The match will be the first of two straight home games to open the year for the Flames, as six days later, Alder's team will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in Lynchburg at 6 p.m.