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Liberty to Host Big South Leader Winthrop
The Liberty Flames (7-3-3, 1-1-2 Big South) will host the Big South-leading Winthrop Eagles (10-3-2, 4-0-2 Big South), Saturday at Osborne Stadium. Match time is scheduled for Noon.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats and video for the contest will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate stats links on the men's soccer schedule/results page or by clicking the links at the top of this page.
Saturday will be the 28th meeting between Winthrop and Liberty. The Flames hold an 18-8-1 all-time advantage in the series.
The past three seasons have seen the two teams play three memorable contests at the Big South Championship. In 2007 and 2006, the Eagles and Flames exchanged semifinal overtime wins on their way to conference titles. Winthrop edged Liberty, 2-1, in overtime in 2006. The Flames returned the favor in 2007, with a 1-0 overtime win. Last season, the semifinal match between the two went to penalty kicks with Winthrop advancing, 5-4.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (82-67-15, ninth year), has not played a full 90 minutes, since recording their eighth shutout of the season in a 7-0 victory over Southern Virginia, last Friday.
This past Tuesday, Liberty staked itself to a 1-0 advantage at High Point in a driving rain storm, before the game was halted due to the inclement weather and poor field conditions in the 25th minute.
Six different players scored in the contest for the Flames in their victory over Southern Virginia. Darren Amoo netted two goals, while Phillip Aseweh, Andrew Scheck, Chris Phillips, Kyle Probst and Travis Joseph each scored single goals in the win. Andrew Madero and Panashe Nhekario shared the goalkeeping duties for Liberty in the victory.
Home Sweet Home
Liberty is unbeaten at Osborne Stadium, posting a 6-0-1 record this season. The Flames have allowed only one goal at home in 2009. After yielding a goal in their season-opening 10-1 victory over Concord on Sept. 1, Liberty has shut out six straight opponents at home. The Flames have two home contests remaining at Osborne, Saturday against Winthrop and Monday against VMI.
Liberty will host the VMI Keydets on Monday night, with the game starting at 7 p.m. It will be the last home game of the season for the Flames.
Wednesday night, Liberty will make up its contest with High Point. The Flames and Panthers' Big South contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Among the Nation's Elite
Liberty is among the top teams in the country in several categories in the NCAA Ranking Summary through games of Oct. 25.
With a 0.44 average, the Flames rank fourth in the nation in team goals-against average. Liberty also is listed No. 4 in the country with a .887 team save percentage.
The Flames are also among the top 10 in the country in scoring offense and shutout percentage. Liberty ranks fifth with a 0.62 shutout percentage, as the Flames have blanked eight of their 13 opponents this season. Jeff Alder's team enters the week sixth in the nation in scoring offense, with 2.38 goals per contest.
Individually, forward Darren Amoo ranks among the top 10 scorers in the country. Amoo is listed seventh with 1.85 points per game. He also ranks ninth with 0.77 goals per contest. Liberty's team-leader, Amoo has scored 10 goals and four assists for 24 points so far this season.
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero continues to rank among the top keepers in the nation. The junior ranks third in two categories, with a 0.386 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
In each of their seven victories this season, Liberty has scored the first goal of the contest. The only time the trend has not held was in a 2-1 setback at Gardner-Webb on Oct. 20. The Flames netted the first goal of the contest, only to see the home team rally for the win.
A Look at Winthrop
The defending Big South champion, Winthrop Eagles, had a seven-game unbeaten streak snapped, Tuesday night in the rain at Elon, 4-0. During the streak, the Eagles went 5-0-2.
Winthrop enters Saturday's conference match with the Flames sitting atop the Big South standings with a 4-0-2 mark. Last season, the Eagles finished 2008 with a 15-6-1 overall record and went 6-2-1 in Big South play under head coach Rich Posipanko (215-167-28, 20 years at Winthrop).
Until Tuesday night, the Eagles had scored in 21 consecutive games. The high-powered Winthrop offensive attack ranks fourth in the nation by averaging 2.63 goals per game. The Eagles lead the Big South with 35 goals. Winthrop has allowed 26 goals this year.
Individually, senior forward Matt Skonicki has 11 goals and seven assists for 29 points. He entered the week ranked third in the country with 2.23 points per game. The forward has scored two goals in a game four times this season and paces the Big South in game-winning goals with four.
Midfielder Michael Luk is also among the conference leaders in scoring with four goals and eight assists for 16 points. His point total currently ranks him fifth in the Big South. The midfielder ranks 11th in the country in assists per game with .57 per contest.
Goalkeeper Enrique Miranda has logged every minute between the posts for the Eagles this season. The freshman will enter Saturday's contest with a 1.68 goals-against average over 1,390 minutes of play.