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Liberty to Host Radford in Big South Tilt
The Liberty Flames (3-1) will welcome the Radford Highlanders (2-2 ) to Osborne Stadium, Saturday at 7 p.m. The contest will serve as the Big South Conference opener for both teams.
How to Follow the Flames
Monday night's contest will be streamed live via the Big South Network. For more information, please click the "Live Video Streaming" link at the top of this page or click "Live Video" on the Liberty men's soccer schedule/results page.
Live stats for Monday's contest 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.
Saturday's match will be the 40th meeting between the Flames and Highlanders on the soccer pitch. Over the past four years, the two squads have split their four meetings during the regular season, with the home team winning every time.
Last season and in 2006, Radford won at Patrick D. Cupp Stadium, 2-1 and 3-1, while in 2007 and 2005, Liberty registered 3-0 victories at Liberty Soccer Field. In 2007, the Flames defeated Highlanders 2-1 in the Big South Championship game to capture their first-ever conference title.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (78-65-12, ninth year), split a pair of contests last weekend at the Sculley Memorial Tournament in Lexington, Va.
Friday, the Flames recorded their second shutout of the year in a 4-0 triumph over the Rider Broncs. Leading 1-0 at halftime, Liberty used a three-goal second-half burst to put the contest out of reach for the Broncs. Forward Travis Joseph scored the first Flames goal of the match, the first of his collegiate career, and added an assist in the victory. Midfielder Chris Phillips also scored his first goal of the year, while forwards Darren Amoo and Phillip Aseweh each tallied goals for the Flames.
Sunday, Liberty dropped its first match of 2009. The St. Francis (N.Y.) Terriers netted the game's lone goal for a 1-0 win. Terrier goalkeeper Chris Antonino made several outstanding stops to keep the Flames off the scoreboard in the contest.
Trio Named to All-Tournament Team
Forward Darren Amoo and senior defenders Michael Ward and Chris Mandell were selected to the 2009 Sculley Memorial All-Tournament team. Amoo scored a goal in Liberty's victory over Rider, Friday, while Ward and Mandell had strong efforts on defense for the Flames, allowing one goal in two games.
Liberty saw the third-longest unbeaten streak in program history, 11 games (8-0-3), come to an end Sunday. 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. They followed that by beginning the season 3-0, before their setback, Sunday.
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.
An Eye on Amoo
Forward Darren Amoo begins the week, among the national and Big South Conference leaders in several statistical categories.
With 12 points on five goals and two assists in the first four games of the year, the forward entered the week fourth in the country in both points per game (3.0/game) and goals per game (1.25/game). Amoo also leads both categories in the Big South Conference rankings.
Having played one less game than Big South leader Matthew Skonicki of Winthrop, Amoo is second in total goals and points in the conference.
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.
Aseweh added his third goal of the season, Friday, to up his season point total to nine, with three goals and three assists.
Along with fellow forward Amoo, Aseweh was 12th in the latest NCAA national statistic report with a 2.25 points per game average. He also ranks 19th in the country with a .75 assist per game average.
His three assists tie the forward for the Big South lead with four other players, including teammate Timothy Bullock. He also is tied for sixth in the conference in goals.
Bullock Lends a Helping Hand
Midfielder Timothy Bullock's presence has also been felt in the Liberty line-up so far this season. In his first start in a Liberty uniform against Concord on Sept. 1, the Forest, Va., native scored the first two goals of his collegiate career and also assisted on the Flames' first goal of the year in the victory.
Bullock has gone on to add assists in wins over Appalachian State and Rider for three helpers on the year, ranking the sophomore 19th in the country in assists per game with .75 per game. In addition, his assist total ties him with four other players, including teammate Phillip Aseweh, for the most in the Big South.
With seven points, on two goals and three assists, Bullock is currently eighth in the conference in scoring.
Musing About Madero
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero recorded his second shutout of 2009, Friday, in Liberty's 4-0 triumph over the Rider Broncs. Even though the junior allowed his first goal of the season on Sunday, Madero still sits atop the Big South rankings in goals-against average with a 0.27 GAA. He also leads the conference in save percentage (.909) and shutouts (2).
In addition, the Tampa, Fla., native is among the national leaders in several categories. Madero began the week 13th in goals against average and 18th in save percentage.
Madero finished as the conference leader in goals-against average in 2008, recording a 0.68 GAA in eight games. In 12 career games, the Tampa, Fla. native has posted a 8-1-3 mark with a 0.56 GAA.
Among Team Leaders
The Flames lead the country in scoring offense in the latest NCAA statistical report released on Tuesday. Liberty's 4.0 goals per game average pace the nation, with fellow conference member, Winthrop, third with a 3.2 goals per game average.
In addition, Jeff Alder's squad is among the country's elite in goals-against average with 0.5 average. The Flames rank 24th in the country in the statistical category. The mark, along with scoring offense, also leads the Big South Conference.
The Big South Beat
Coastal Carolina midfielder James Stapleton was selected as the Big South Men's Soccer Player of the Week for games played Sept. 7-13.
Stapleton, a senior from Barnsley, England, had a hand in all three goals in Coastal Carolina's 3-1 win at Davidson on Sept. 13. Stapleton scored two goals, including the game-winner, in the contest.
Meanwhile, no conference team enters the weekend unbeaten, as Gardner-Webb and High Point each dropped their first contest of the season along with the Flames last week. The Bulldogs were edged 1-0 by IPFW, last Friday. The Panthers dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 1-ranked Akron at the Cincinnati Tournament on the same day. High Point later fell to Western Illinois at the tournament, 3-2.
A Look at Radford
Radford enters Osborne Stadium, Saturday, with a 2-2 record. Spencer Smith has posted a 133-132-27 record during his 16 years at the helm of the Highlanders.
In their last game, the Highlanders dropped a 2-0 decision at home to the Davidson Wildcats, Wednesday. Radford could not overcome a slow start in the contest. The Wildcats took an early 1-0 advantage 22 seconds into the match and then used a strong defensive effort, limiting the Highlanders to a few quality chances for the remainder of the 90 minutes of regulation.
Over its first four games of the year, Radford has been outscored, 5-4. Individually, James Jordan leads Radford in scoring with three points. Brian Gwanzura and Justin Zimmer have each scored a goal for two points.
Ryan Taylor has logged most of the minutes in the Highlander net this season. The sophomore goalkeeper has a 1.14 goals-against average and has recorded one shutout in 2009. He has been the keeper of record in every Highlander contest so far.
Liberty and Radford have shared one common opponent in the early stages of the season, Appalachian State. Radford defeated the Mountaineers, 3-2, Sept. 4 in Boone, N.C. The Flames shut out the Mountaineers, 2-0, Sept. 7 at Osborne Stadium.