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Flames Visit No. 13 Cavs, host Blue Hose
The Liberty Flames (5-2-2) complete a three-game road swing with their second consecutive game against a nationally-ranked opponent, before returning home for a Big South Conference match this week.
The Flames will square off with the No. 13 Virginia Cavaliers (7-3) at Klochner Stadium in Charlottesville, Tuesday. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
On Friday, Liberty hosts the Presbyterian Blue Hose (2-8-1) for the first time in program history. The Big South Conference contest at Osborne Stadium is slated to begin at 6 p.m. The contest is part of Homecoming festivities at Liberty.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for both contests 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 Virginia Media Relations department on Tuesday.
Liberty's Osborne Stadium will be dedicated Friday, before the start of the Flames' Big South match with Presbyterian. The new facility includes a 1,000-seat grandstand and a press box. Later, a three-story building with offices and a locker room will be completed in the area.
Tuesday night's contest will be the 18th meeting between the Cavaliers and the Flames in men's soccer. Liberty has never defeated Virginia. The past 14 meetings and 16 of the prior 17 meetings have come in Charlottesville. Last season, the No. 18 Cavaliers defeated the Flames, 3-0, on Oct. 7.
Friday night will be the only the second meeting between Liberty and Big South newcomer Presbyterian. The two teams met for the first time last season, with the Flames defeating the Blue Hose, 2-1, in Clinton, S.C., on Oct. 18.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (80-66-14, ninth year), will enter Tuesday's game after a week's rest. The last time out, Liberty fell for the first time in five outings in a 1-0 setback to No. 2 North Carolina.
Prior to the setback, the Flames had shut out their opponents in four straight games to run their season's total to six blankings. Liberty did not concede a goal over 530:51 of play during the stretch.
Friday night, the Flames will return to Big South action. Liberty has recorded two ties in its first two conference contests this season. The Flames have yet to allow or score a goal in Big South play, recording 0-0 ties with Radford and Costal Carolina.
In the Regional Rankings
After spending two weeks in the No. 10 spot, the Flames moved up two positions to No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) South Atlantic region poll last week. Tuesday night's opponent, Virginia, held the top spot in the most recent regional poll.
Before their defeat at North Carolina, Liberty had strung together four consecutive shutouts. In nine games this year, the Flames have recorded a total of six shutouts. The Flames ranked second in the nation with a 0.75 shutout percentage in the last national statistics summary through games of Oct. 4.
Liberty has allowed just three goals this season and two in its last eight outings. Alder's charges were also listed second in the country last week with a 0.24 goals-against average.
Both numbers lead the Big South and trailed only Akron nationally (0.89 shutout percentage/0.11 GAA).
Entering Tuesday night's match, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 21-3. Liberty ranked fifth in the nation in the latest national statistical summary through games of Oct. 4, with 2.63 goals per game. In each of their five victories this season, the Flames have scored two or more goals.
Flames Among the Leaders
Two Liberty players were among the national and conference leaders in several individual categories.
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero ranked second in the nation in both goals-against average and save percentage. After allowing only his second goal of the year last Tuesday, Madero leads the Big South with a 0.22 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The junior recorded a career and season-high seven saves this past Tuesday night at North Carolina.
Forward Darren Amoo also remained among the country's elite in several offensive categories in the statistical rankings. Amoo has scored seven goals and added three assists for 17 points this season.
He ranked seventh nationally with 2.13 points per game. The forward also was listed among the nation's top 10 in goals, ranking 10th in the national statistical summary for games played through Oct. 4, 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.
The Big South Beat
The Winthrop Eagles (3-0-1) took over the top spot in the Big South standings by handing the High Point Panthers (3-1) their first conference loss of the season, 1-0, last Tuesday night in High Point, N.C. Eagles freshman defender Daniel Di Biagio scored the contest's lone goal in the 19th minute.
On the weekend, Winthrop and High Point both recorded wins. The Eagles defeated host VMI, 2-0, Sunday. The match was the first conference contest for the Keydets. A day earlier, the Panthers edged Presbyterian, 2-1, with a goal in the second overtime.
Also on Saturday, UNC Asheville picked up its first conference victory with a 1-0 triumph at Radford.
A Look at Virginia
Virginia will enter Tuesday's night contest with the Flames coming off a 2-0 victory over Longwood at Klochner Stadium, last Wednesday. With the win, the Cavaliers remained unbeaten in non-conference play with a 5-0 mark.
Earlier this season, Virginia defeated George Washington, 2-1, on Sept. 22 to give 14-year head coach George Gelnovatch (202-79-22) his 200th career victory.
The Cavaliers have outscored their opponents, 12-5, this season and have shut out four of their opponents, so far in 2009.
Midfielders Neil Barlow and Tony Tchani lead Virginia with three goals each. Barlow also has two assists for eight points to pace the Cavaliers. Forward Chris Agorsor has added six points, with two goals and two assists.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Diego Restrepo has played in all 10 Virginia contests, with nine starts. Restrepo has recorded a 6-3 record with a 0.49 goals-against average. He has been in the Cavalier goal for all four of the team's shutouts.
A Look at Presbyterian
Presbyterian will enter Osborne Stadium with five days of rest. In their last outing Saturday, the Blue Hose fell in overtime, 2-1, at High Point.
This season, head coach Bret Boulware (73-80-17, 10 years) has led his alma mater to its first Big South win, a 1-0 victory over Radford on Oct. 3. The Blue Hose are 1-2-1 in conference play this season.
Presbyterian has been outscored, 18-10, so far this year. The Blue Hose have recorded one shutout and have been held scoreless in a contest three times.
Forward Sam Eastridge leads Presbyterian with two goals and two assists for six points. Midfielders Michael Czulinski and Davis Orders each have two goals and one assist for five points.
Junior James Neal and freshman Andrew Wallingford and have split the goalkeeping duties for the Blue Hose this season. Neal has started five games and logged 495 minutes between the posts for Presbyterian, posting a 2.00 goals-against average and recording one victory. Wallingford has made three starts and logged 408:41. The freshman has recorded one win, a shutout, and has a 1.10 goals-against average.