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Liberty Faces Gardner-Webb, Southern Va.
The Liberty Flames (6-2-3, 1-0-2 Big South) will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., Tuesday night for a Big South contest with the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (6-5-1, 2-3-1 Big South). Match time Tuesday is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, the Flames will return home for a non-conference match with the Southern Virginia Knights (7-4-1). Game time Friday at Osborne Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Friday's 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. Tuesday night's contest will be video streamed courtesy of the Gardner-Webb Media Relations department on Tuesday. Click on the video link on the men's soccer results page.
Tuesday night's contest will be the 11th meeting between the Bulldogs and the Flames on the soccer pitch. Liberty holds a 8-1-1 all-time advantage in the all-time series with Gardner-Webb. Last season, the Flames defeated the Bulldogs, 3-0, in Lynchburg, Va., on Oct. 21, 2008, in the first meeting between the two squads as conference foes.
Friday night will be the sixth contest between Liberty and Southern Virginia. The Flames are 5-0 all-time against the Knights. Last year, Liberty downed Southern Virginia, 3-0, on Oct. 14, 2008 in Lynchburg.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (81-66-15, ninth year), will enter Tuesday's game, fresh off a 1-0 victory over Big South foe Presbyterian, Friday.
In the victory, Liberty recorded its seventh shutout of the season. In addition, the Flames have not allowed a goal in three Big South Conference outings.
In the Regional Rankings
After moving up two positions a two weeks ago to No. 8 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) South Atlantic region poll, the Flames remained in that spot in last week's poll . Virginia, which Liberty tied, 1-1, last Tuesday, held the top spot in the regional poll.
Home Sweet Home
Liberty is unbeaten at Osborne Stadium, posting a 5-0-1 record this season. The Flames have allowed only one goal at home this season. After allowing a goal in their season-opening 10-1 victory over Concord on Sept. 1, Liberty has shut out five-straight opponents at home.
Defense Continues to Get It Done
Liberty blanked its seventh opponent, Friday night. The total is two more than all of the 2008 season for the Flames.
Liberty will enter the week with a 0.34 goals-against average, which leads the Big South Conference. The Flames have allowed only four goals during their 11 games this season. Jeff Alder's team ranked third in the country in the national statistical rankings for games through Oct. 11.
Musing about Madero
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero continues to give the Flames solid play in net. Last week, the junior recorded a career-high eight saves in a 1-1 tie at No. 11 Virginia, and later in the week, he earned his seventh shutout of the year against Presbyterian.
Madero ranked third in the nation in goals-against average and second in save percentage last week. He leads the Big South with a 0.26 GAA and a .932 save percentage.
For his career, Madero has posted an 11-2-6 record with a 0.46 goals-against average and 10 shutouts. The junior currently tops the program's career goals-against average.
Scoring First Leads to Wins
In each of their six victories this year, the Flames have scored the first goal of the contest. Liberty has outscored opponents, 7-1, in the opening 45 minutes this season, and has scored in the first half in five of its six wins. On the year, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 23-4.
The Big South Beat
The Winthrop Eagles (3-0-2) and the High Point Panthers (3-1-1) continue to sit atop the Big South standings. This past Saturday, Winthrop tied Radford, 2-2, while High Point played Coastal Carolina to a 0-0 tie in conference action.
In addition, UNC Asheville recorded its second conference victory with a 2-1 victory over VMI. The Bulldogs have posted a 2-1-1 record so far in Big South play and are tied with Gardner-Webb in the Big South standings with seven points.
A Look at Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb will enter Tuesday's Big South contest looking to stop a two-game losing skid. After starting the year 5-1, Head Coach Tony Setzer's (153-246-25, 21 years) team is 1-4-1 over its last six contests. The Bulldogs have scored 21 goals on the year and allowed 21.
Gardner-Webb is paced by the Big South's second leading scorer, Gerard Hefferon, who has compiled 18 points on seven goals and four assists. Romeo Kabanda and John Sargent have also tallied double-digits in points. Kabanda has netted four goals and assisted on four others for 12 points, while Sargent has added three goals and four assists for 10 points.
Trent Kozman has logged over 1,000 minutes in goal this season for the Bulldogs, posting a 1.62 goals-against average and a 5-4-1 record. He has recorded three shutouts.
A Look at Southern Virginia
The Southern Virginia had a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) snapped in its last outing, Thursday. The Knights dropped a 4-1 decision to West Virginia Tech at home.
Southern Virginia, under the guidance of Tom Longenecker (16-21-4, two years), has outscored its opponents, 29-19.
Francisco Osegueda leads the Knights with 24 points. The midfielder has scored 10 goals and assisted on four others this season. Josh Patino has also compiled double-digits in points for Southern Virginia, scoring four goals and tallying four assists for 12 points.
Goalkeeping duties for the Knights have been split between Ben May and Mike Wilson. The two have combined for a 1.69 goals-against average and two shutouts. Wilson has posted a 0.69 goals-against average, while Mays has a 3.10 GAA.