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Flames to Take Part in Sculley Memorial
Looking to remain unbeaten in 2009, the Liberty Flames (2-0) men's soccer team will take to the road for the first time this weekend. The Flames will square off against Rider (0-3) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (0-2) at the Sculley Memorial Tournament, Friday and Sunday at VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington, Va. Both contests are scheduled for 1 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for both of Liberty's contests in the Sculley Memorial Tournament will be provided by the VMI media relations office. They will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link on the men's soccer schedule/results page or by clicking the link at the top of this page.
The Sculley Memorial Tournament
Big South member VMI will be the host for this weekend's inaugural Sculley Memorial Tournament. The tournament honors Jay Sculley, the first Keydet varsity men's soccer coach. Sculley served as the team's coach from 1972-73 and from 1977-80. He also taught at the institution.
The tournament will feature two games each on Friday and Sunday at Patchin Field. The four-team field includes Liberty, the Rider Broncs, the St. Francis (N.Y.) Terriers and the host VMI Keydets. The Flames and Keydets will not meet on the weekend, as the two squads will meet in Big South Conference play at Osborne Stadium on Nov. 3.
The tournament schedule is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 11
1 p.m. - Rider vs. Liberty
4 p.m. – St. Francis (N.Y.) vs. VMI
Sunday, Sept. 13
1 p.m. – St. Francis (N.Y.) vs. Liberty
4 p.m. – Rider vs. VMI
Liberty has never met either of its opponents this weekend.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (77-64-12, ninth year), have begun the 2009 campaign with victories over Concord and Appalachian State at Osborne Stadium.
This past Monday, Darren Amoo scored twice in the first half, as the Flames recorded their first shutout of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
With the victory, Liberty opens its season for the third straight year with wins in its first two contests of the year. The Flames defeated Bluefield, 3-1, and Campbell, 1-0, to start the 2008 campaign.
Liberty comes off its second consecutive year of double-digit wins in 2008. The Flames followed 2007's Big South Championship season and 13-5-2 mark, with a 10-5-3 ledger last season.
With its two victories to open the year, Liberty has extended the third-longest unbeaten streak in program history to 10 games (7-0-3). The Flames closed 2008 by going unbeaten in their last eight games (5-0-3), the seventh-longest unbeaten streak in the nation at the time.
The 1985 Liberty team under head coach Bill Bell went 14 consecutive games without a loss, while the Flames had another unbeaten run of 12 games spanning the 1982-83 campaigns.
How ‘bout Amoo
Forward Darren Amoo has netted two goals in each of his first two games of the season. The forward scored both markers Monday to power the Flames past Appalachian State, 2-0.
With four goals in his first two matches of the year, the Accra, Ghana native has tallied eight goals in six career games. In addition, he has had three games with two or more goals over that span and recorded had two game-winning scores.
Amoo begins the weekend, leading the Big South Conference in several statistical categories. The forward leads the conference with four goals, 10 points (4g-2a), 5.00 points per game and 2.00 goals per game.
Making an Early Impact
Transfer Phillip Aseweh made his presence felt right away in his first match in the Liberty line-up. The Virginia Tech transfer scored two goals and added three assists for seven points in the Flames' triumph over Concord on Sept. 1. The sophomore forward's point total was the most by a Liberty player since Darryl Roberts collected nine points with three goals and three assists in an 10-0 win over Averett at Liberty Soccer Field on Oct. 7, 2002.
His three assists tie the forward for the Big South lead with Gardner-Webb midfielder Romeo Kabanda.
Musing About Madero
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero recorded his first shutout of 2009, making two saves Monday evening at Osborne Stadium. The junior netminder has not allowed a goal in 150:30 this season, putting him atop the Big South rankings in goals-against average.
Madero finished as the conference leader in goals-against average in 2008, recording a 0.68 GAA in eight games. In 10 career games, the Tampa, Fla. native has posted a 7-0-3 mark, backstopping the current Liberty 10-game unbeaten streak.
The Big South Beat
Gardner-Webb forward Gerard Hefferson was selected the Big South Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week for the opening week of the season.
Hefferon scored four goals and assisted on another, en route to being named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Hefferson netted the lone goal in the Bulldogs' season-opening win at Clemson on Sept. 1. He added two goals in a win over Covenant and the game-winner in a 3-2 Gardner-Webb win over Jacksonville, last weekend.
The Bulldogs (3-0), High Point (3-0) and Liberty (2-0) enter this weekend as the conference's remaining unbeaten teams. Defending champion Winthrop bounced back from a loss to N.C. State in its season lid- lifter on Sept. 1, with two victories in the Soccer for a Cure Tournament over the weekend. The Eagles defeated Jacksonville, 3-1, Friday, and Covenant, 3-2, Saturday.
A Look at Rider
The Rider Broncs, under the direction of 35-year veteran coach Russ Fager (241-319-59), have been competitive in the early going of 2009, but have not been able to collect their first victory.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) member from Lawrenceville, N.J., has dropped two 1-0 decisions through its first three matches of the year. One of its 1-0 setbacks came this past Sunday, when the Broncs fell to Big South member High Point, 1-0.
Rider, who returns 11 players from last season's 2-15-2 squad, has yet to score a goal in 2009. The Broncs return last year's leading scorers, Andrew Cotes and Nico Tramontana. The midfielders each had nine points on the season, with four goals and an assist apiece.
Senior Dylan Hastings and sophomore Christopher Pimentel have split the goalkeeping chores so far this season. Hastings has posted a 2.32 goals-against average in 156 minutes, while Pimentel has recorded a 0.78 goals-against average in 115 minutes.
A Look at St. Francis (N.Y.)
The St. Francis (N.Y.) Terriers will enter their match with VMI, Friday, looking for their first victory of 2009. The Terriers dropped two contests this past weekend at the Coastal Carolina/adidas Invitational to start head coach Tom Giovatto's third season (15-15-8).
The Northeast Conference (NEC) team fell to VCU in its season-opener, last Friday, 3-0, before being edged by host Coastal Carolina, a Big South member, 1-0, on Sunday.
St. Francis (N.Y.) returns 18 players from last year's 11-4-3 team. The Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., squad returns 2008 All-NEC first team members, forward John Sallhag and midfielder Semso Nikocevic. Sallhag led the Terriers with 20 points, scoring eight goals and assisting on four others. Nikocevic had a goal and two assists last season.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Antonino has seen all the action between the posts for the Terriers during their first two contests. Last season, Antonino posted a 0.84 goals-against average and a 11-3-3 record.