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Liberty Travels to No. 3 North Carolina
The Liberty Flames (5-1-1) continue their three-game road swing, Tuesday night, in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Flames will square off with the nation's No. 3 ranked team, the North Carolina Tar Heels (7-1-1), in the second contest of the road swing. Game time at Fetzer Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Tuesday night'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. Live stats will be provided courtesy of the North Carolina athletic communications department.
Tuesday night's contest will be the fourth meeting between the Liberty and North Carolina on the soccer pitch. The Tar Heels have taken the previous three meetings in the series, which started in 2006. Last season, North Carolina defeated Liberty, 4-1, at Liberty Soccer Field on Sept. 16, 2008.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (80-65-14, ninth year), enter tonight's game unbeaten in their last four contests (2-0-2). Last week, Liberty defeated Longwood, 2-0, and tied Coastal Carolina, 0-0, in a Big South contest. Over the stretch, the Flames have not allowed a goal. Liberty has not yielded a goal in its last 456 of play.
In the Regional Rankings
After spending two weeks in the No. 10 spot, the Flames moved up two spots to No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) South Atlantic region poll this week. Virginia holds the top spot in the poll this week.
After stringing together four consecutive shutouts, Liberty has recorded six shutouts in eight games this season. The Flames enter the week ranked second in the nation with a 0.24 shutout percentage.
Liberty has allowed only two goals this season and only one in its last seven outings. Alder's charges enter the week also listed second in the country with a 0.24 goals-against average.
Both numbers lead the Big South and trail only Akron nationally (0.89 shutout percentage/0.11 GAA).
High Scoring Offense
Entering Tuesday night's match, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 21-2. Liberty ranks fifth in the nation with a 2.63 goals per game. In each of their five victories this season, the Flames have scored two or more goals.
Flames Among Leaders
Two Liberty players enter the week among the national and conference leaders in several individual categories.
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero continues to rank second in the nation in goals-against average and save percentage. Madero leads the Big South with a 0.12 GAA and a .952 save percentage.
Forward Darren Amoo also remains among the country's elite in several offensive categories. Amoo has scored seven goals and added three assists for 17 points this season. He ranks seventh in the nation with a 2.13 points per game. The forward also is ranked in the nation's top 10 in goals, ranking 10th in this week's national statistical summary with a 0.88 goals per game average. Amoo is second in the Big South Conference in goals, goals per game, points and points per game.
Picking Up Where They Left Off
After closing 2008 unbeaten with a 5-0-3 record, the Flames have picked up where they left off, starting 2009 with a 5-1-2 mark. Combined, the Flames have lost only one contest in their last 16 contests, running off a 10-1-5 record.
Over the sixteen games, Liberty has recorded nine shutouts and outscored opponents, 37-8.
The Big South Beat
With a 2-2 tie this past Saturday at home against Winthrop, Gardner-Webb continues to sit atop the Big South standings with a 2-0-1 mark.
Meanwhile, Presbyterian recorded its first Big South Conference since joining the conference Saturday. The Blue Hose, who had lost its first 11 conference matches, defeated Radford, 1-0, at home.
Entering the week, Gardner-Webb, High Point (2-0), Liberty (0-0-2), Coastal Carolina (0-0-1) and Winthrop (1-0-1) had not lost in Big South play yet this season. VMI has yet to begin its conference slate.
A Look at North Carolina
North Carolina enters Tuesday's contest with the Flames, having blanked Radford, 2-0, and No. 12 Virginia, 1-0 in overtime, last week.
In the 21st year under head coach Elmar Bolowich (255-139-33), the Tar Heels have allowed five goals this season, tying them for the ACC lead. North Carolina also leads the ACC in goals scored with 19.
Midfielders Michael Farfan and Cameron Brown lead the Tar Heels with four goals and one assist each for nine points. Forward Billy Schuler has also scored three goals and added two assists for eight points for North Carolina.
Behind goalkeeper Brooks Haggerty, who leads the ACC with a 0.53 goals against average and four shutouts, the Tar Heels have surrendered just two goals to its previous five non-conference opponents this year.
Besides Radford, North Carolina has also defeated Big South member UNC Asheville, 5-0, this season.