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Flames Takes 2-1 Win in Regular-Season Finale
With a victory in their final contest of the regular season, Liberty moves to 4-2-2 in Big South and 10-4-3 overall. Host UNC Asheville falls to 2-5-1 in conference play and 6-11-2 overall. With its 10th victory of the season, Liberty reaches double-digit wins during a season for the 14th time in program history.
The first half was tightly played between the two teams. Both teams exchanged shots in the first two minutes of the contest. Liberty forward Darren Amoo (R-So., Accra, Ghana) fired the first shot of the game in the first minute, wide. Bulldog midfielder Bryan George countered with a wide shot in the second minute.
In the 20th minute, a shot by forward Phillip Aseweh (So., Navrongo, Ghana) hit the crossbar and bounce away, keeping the Flames from scoring the contest's first goal.
UNC Asheville took a 1-0 advantage in the 43rd minute. After a Liberty foul in the 18-yard box, Connor Holzinger converted the resulting penalty kick at 43:49 for lead, heading into intermission.
The Flames quickly erased the Bulldog edge in the opening minutes of the second half. Midfielder Juan Niño (So., Katy, Texas) got free and broke away from several defenders, feeding a pass into the 18-yard box for forward Darren Amoo (R-So., Accra, Ghana). The forward buried the ball into the left side of the net for his 13th goal of the year at 48:04.
In the 77th minute, Liberty tallied the game-winner off a corner kick. Niño flicked the kick into the goal area. Midfielder Chris Phillips (R-So., Brownsburg, Ind.) fought off a Bulldog defender and slipped a shot into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the year and the final score of 2-1.
Liberty defense took over down the stretch, limiting the Bulldogs to a header by Jake Hagedorn with five minutes, which went wide.
The Flames outshout their hosts, 19-13, and held the edge in corner kicks, 6-5.
Goalkeeper Andrew Madero (Jr., Tampa, Fla.) recorded a save for Liberty, while Derek Flip made five saves for UNC Asheville.
Liberty draws the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Big South Men's Soccer Championship, which begins Thursday at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C., with four first round games. The Flames will play the No. 6 seed UNC Asheville Bulldgs at 5 p.m.