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LU Ends Regular Season with Two Road Games

November 4, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero

Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero

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The Liberty Flames (9-3-3, 3-1-2 Big South) complete their 2009 regular-season schedule with two road games, Wednesday and Saturday.

The Flames will face the High Point Panthers (8-5-2, 4-1-2 Big South), Wednesday, in a Big South match postponed a week ago due to heavy rains and poor field conditions. Game time at Vert Stadium, the site of the upcoming 2009 Big South Men's Soccer Championship, is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Saturday, Liberty will close out its regular-season slate by traveling to Asheville, N.C., to square off with the UNC Asheville Bulldogs (6-10-2, 2-4-1 Big South). The conference game is set for a 2 p.m. start at Greenwood Field.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats and video will be available for Wednesday night's game on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate links on the men's soccer schedule/results page or by clicking the links at the top of this page. Both will be provided by the High Point Athletic Media Relations Department.

Live video will be available Saturday. It can be accessed by clicking the video link at the top of the page or on the men's soccer schedule/results page. The video stream will be provided by the UNC Asheville Athletic Communications Department.

The Series
Wednesday night's contest will be the 24th meeting between the Panthers and the Flames on the soccer pitch. Liberty holds an 11-8-4 all-time advantage in the all-time series with High Point.

Last season, the Flames defeated the Panthers, 2-1, in the first round of the Big South Championship in Conway, S.C., on Nov. 13. Liberty also beat High Point during the regular season, 3-1, Sept. 30, in Lynchburg. The last time the two teams met in High Point, the Flames downed the Panthers, 3-1, on Oct. 31, 2007.

Saturday contest will be the 25th all-time match-up between Liberty and UNC Asheville on the soccer pitch. The Flames lead the series, 17-5-2.

Last year, Liberty and UNC Asheville played to a 0-0 scoreless tie in Lynchburg on the final day of the regular season, Nov. 8. A year earlier in their last meeting in Asheville, the Flames defeated the Bulldogs, 2-1, on Oct. 18, 2007.

A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (84-67-15, ninth year), closed out their 2009 home schedule, Monday, with a 2-0 victory over VMI at Osborne Stadium. The Flames have won three-straight matches entering Wednesday night's contest at High Point.

Midfielder Phillip Aseweh scored his seventh goal of the season and added an assist in the contest. Forward Darren Amoo netted his team-high 12th goal of the year in the victory.

Home Sweet Home
Liberty completed its home schedule unbeaten, posting an 8-0-1 record this season at Osborne Stadium. The Flames allowed only one goal at home in 2009, outscoring opponents, 30-1. In addition, head coach Jeff Alder's team is unbeaten in its last 12 home matches (10-0-2), yielding only one goal over the stretch.

Score First
In each of their nine victories this season, Liberty has scored the first goal of the contest. Liberty added to that trend this past week, netting the first goal of the game in their victories over Winthrop and VMI. The only time the trend has not held this season, 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.

Among the Nation's Elite
Liberty is among the top teams in the country in several categories in the recent NCAA Ranking Summary through games of Nov. 1.

With a 0.41 average, the Flames rank third 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 sixth in shutout percentage with a 0.67 shutout percentage, as the Flames have blanked 10 of their 15 opponents this season. On the offensive side of things, Jeff Alder's team enters the week fourth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 2.40 goals per contest.

Individually, forward Darren Amoo ranks among the top 10 scorers in the country. Amoo is listed seventh with 1.87 points per game. He also ranks seventh nationally with 0.80 goals per contest.

Liberty's team leader, Amoo has scored 12 goals and four assists for 28 points so far this season. The forward leads the Big South in goals and is second in the conference in points. His season goall and point totals rank him ninth all-time on both Liberty single-season lists.

Goalkeeper Andrew Madero continues to rank among the top keepers in the nation. The junior ranks third in two categories, with a 0.356 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.

Madero also leads the Big South Conference in both goals-against average and save percentage. In addition, his nine shutouts top the conference listing. Currently, he has the top single season goals-against average in program history and ranks seventh all-time in shutouts in a season. Madero has run together a streak of four consecutive shutouts this season, tying him with four others in Liberty history. The last to achieve the feat was Flames assistant coach Dean Short in 1999.

Big South Beat
With one week remaining in the regular season, the Big South Conference race has tightened for top seeding for the upcoming Big South Championship at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C., Nov. 12-15.

Monday night, Radford rallied while a man down, scoring in the 75th minute to tie High Point, 1-1, in double overtime.

With the tie, the Panthers move to 4-1-2 and are among several teams in the mix for the top four seeds for the upcoming Big South Tournament.

High Point was joined by Coastal Carolina (4-0-3) in the four-win club, Tuesday night, when the Chanticleers handed Winthrop, who already had four wins, its second straight Big South setback, 3-1, in Rock Hill, S.C. Coastal Carolina finishes its regular season, Saturday, by hosting Radford.

Meanwhile, the Eagles, the defending Big South champions, have completed their conference schedule with a 4-2-2 mark.

Gardner-Webb also has four victories in Big South play and has finished its Big South slate with a 4-3-1 record. With two games remaining on their conference schedule, Liberty (3-2-1) also remains in the race for one of the top four seeds in the tournament.

A Look at High Point
A make-up of last week's postponed contest, Wednesday night's game between the Flames and the Panthers will be the final regular-season home contest of the season for High Point. Under the guidance of head coach Dustin Fonder (22-27-6, third season), High Point is currently enjoying its best conference season under Fonder, entering the match-up with Liberty, second in the Big South standings.

Monday night, the Panthers could not hold off a rally by host Radford, as the Highlanders tied the conference contest, 1-1, in the 75th minute. The contest went on to finish as a 1-1 tie, High Point's second draw of the year.

High Point is 2-2-1 at home this season. On the year, the Panthers have outscored their opponents, 25-17.

Freshman forward Shawn Sloan, the reigning Big South Player of the Week, leads High Point in scoring with 12 points on five goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Matt Tuttle and freshman forward Fejiro Okiomah have also reached double-digit point totals with 11 points each. Tuttle has three goals and five assists, while Okiomah has recorded four goals and three assists.

Michael Chesler has logged all but seven minutes in the Panther goal this season. The sophomore has posted a 1.09 goals-against average with a .782 save percentage. He has recorded five shutouts.

A Look at UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville will be looking to halt a four-game losing streak, as the Bulldogs host their final home game of 2009, Saturday afternoon. UNC Asheville enters the contest off a 2-0 loss to Appalachian State, Tuesday night.

Under the guidance of Steve Cornish (101-190-19, 17 years), the Bulldogs have no players above sophomore standing on their roster. Despite its youth, UNC Asheville is just one win shy of last season's total of seven.

So far this year, UNC Asheville has been outscored, 30-19. The Bulldogs have only been held scoreless five times this season.

Twelve different players have scored a goal this season for UNC Asheville. Freshman forward Zachary Odum leads the Bulldogs in scoring with three goals and three assists for nine points. Sophomore midfielder Connor Holzinger has two goals and four assists for eight points, while Jake Hagedorn has netted three goals.

Lassi Hurskainen has logged over 1531 minutes in goal for UNC Asheville, compiling a 6-9-1 record and two shutouts. The sophomore has posted a 1.65 goals-against average and a .786 save percentage.