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Flames Travel to Longwood for Road Contest
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will begin a stretch of seven games away from Osborne Stadium, Saturday night. The Flames (1-0) will travel up Route 460 for a match with the Longwood Lancers (0-1). It will be the fifth consecutive year the two teams have met in non-conference play.
How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Saturday's contest will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link on the men's soccer schedule/results page. The live stats will be provided courtesy of the Longwood Athletics Communications Office.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (88-69-15, 10th season), began 2010 with a 6-0 victory at Osborne Stadium on Wednesday. Senior midfielder Thad Taylor scored the first two goals of his career, while forward Darren Amoo posted five points in the contest with two goals and an assist.
Joining the multi-goal scorers with their first goals of 2010 were Uriah Bentick and Alex Verville. For Bentick, it was the sophomore's first goal of his collegiate career. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh had three assists in the contest, while fellow midfielder Juan F. Niño had two helpers for the Flames.
The Flames, picked fourth by the league's coaches in the Big South's Preseason Poll, have returned 17 players from last year's 12-5-3 squad.
Among those returning for the Flames are the 2009 Big South-leading goal scorer and South Atlantic Region team member Amoo, All-Big South forward Timothy Bullock, All-Big South midfielder Chris Phillips and midfielders, Aseweh, Verville, Taylor and Niño.
In addition, defenders Greg White and Chris Osborne return after helping the Flames post 12 shutouts last season, tying the school record.
The 2009 Flames ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense by averaging 2.15 goals per game and seventh in the country in team goals-against average with a 0.53 GAA.
Liberty is 23-12 all-time in season openers and 6-3 during Head Coach Jeff Alder's tenure.
All-time Against Longwood
Saturday's meeting will be the 17th meeting between the Flames and Lancers on the soccer field. The two teams have met the past four seasons, with last year's contest being the only match not to go to overtime during the span.
Last season, Liberty recorded a 2-0 victory over Longwood on Sept. 29 at Osborne Stadium. Forward Timothy Bullock scored the first goal of the contest off a free kick by former Flame midfielder Juan Guzman in the 60th minute and Darren Amoo added a goal on a penalty kick during the 67th minute in the victory. The shutout was the fourth of a school record tying 12 by Liberty on the year.
The Flames hold a 9-4-3 record against the Lancers in the all-time series. As previously mentioned, Liberty and Longwood had three consecutive contests reach overtime from 2006-08. The Flames won in 2006, 1-0, while both the 2007 and 2008 matches ended in a 0-0 and 1-1 tie, respectively.
A Look at Longwood
Longwood will enter Saturday night's contest looking for its first victory of the 2010, after dropping a 3-2 decision at Richmond in double overtime on Wednesday. Senior Harvey Headly and junior Zach Mahon each scored for the Lancers in the contest.
Longwood, coached by Jon Atkinson (34-47-14, eight years), returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from last season's 6-12-2 team.
Of the seven returning starters, only one, midfielder Headly, is a senior. Headly was named All-Atlantic Soccer Conference first team last season. He led the Lancers in points with 17 and goals with seven.
The Lancers also return goalkeeper Joel Hemrick. The junior made nine saves Wednesday at Richmond. Hemrick, a two-year starter at the position, posted a 6-10-2 record in 2009, with a 1.73 goals-against average.
First-Time Goal Scorers
Senior midfielder Thad Taylor scored two goals in Liberty's victory over Bluefield on Wednesday. The two tallies were the first of his collegiate career.
Joining Taylor with his first collegiate goal on Wednesday was sophomore defender Uriah Bentick. The defender scored the first goal of the 2010 campaign off a corner kick during the ninth minute of play.
Multiples seemed to be the word of the day, Wednesday. Senior midfielder Thad Taylor recorded his first multiple goal game with two goals within a 10-minute span at the close of the first half in the Liberty win.
Teammate Darren Amoo netted his fifth multiple goal contest of his career with two tallies also.
Midfielders Phillip Aseweh and Juan F. Niño each had multiple assists in the contest. Both players seem to have picked-up where they left off last year, as they were among the Big South leaders in assists last season. Aseweh recorded three helpers in the contest, while Niño had two. Aseweh opened 2009 in similar fashion with three assists in Liberty's season-opening win over Concord (Sept. 1, 2009)
With their 6-0 victory over Bluefield on Wednesday, the Flames have won their fifth-straight season opener.
Last season, Liberty began the 2009 campaign with a 10-1 victory over Concord on Sept. 1 at Osborne Stadium. Liberty has not lost an opener since falling in overtime to George Mason in 2005.
The 2009 Liberty squad finished the year ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense by averaging 2.15 goals per game. This season, the Flames' offense could once again be high-octane with the return of the top six scorers from that team.
Darren Amoo, who led the Big South with 14 goals and was second in the conference with 33 points, Phillip Aseweh (20 points), Timothy Bullock (12 points), Juan F. Niño (10 points), Chris Phillips (nine points) and Alex Verville (eight points) all return for the Flames in 2010.
This season, junior Juan F. Niño will be joined by his brother, Juan J. Niño, on the Flames' roster. The last pair of siblings to play on the Liberty soccer team was Andrew and Jeremiah Kappler, who played for the Flames from 2004-07.
Last season, the Katy, Texas brothers were contributors to their respective teams. Older brother Juan F. led the Flames and finished third in the Big South Conference with eight assists, while younger brother Juan J. was helping to lead Cinco Ranch High School to a regional championship and the state finals.
A Look Ahead
The Flames will continue a seven-game road swing by participating in the 2010 Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament at VMI in Lexington, Va., Sept. 10-12. Head Coach Jeff Alder's team will square off with Marshall in the first game of the tournament at Noon, a week from today. Two days later, the Flames will face St. Francis (N.Y.) in a rematch of a contest from last year's Sculley Memorial Tournament. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.