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Liberty Shuts Out Longwood, 2-0
Phillip Aseweh and Timothy Bullock each scored their first goal of the season, as the Flames used strong defensive play to blank the Longwood Lancers, 2-0, Saturday evening at the Longwood Athletics Complex.
Liberty moves to 2-0 on the year, while Longwood drops to 0-2. The Flames are unbeaten against Longwood since the series was renewed in 2006 (3-0-2).
Liberty controlled possession in the early minutes of the first half. The Flames' pressure resulted in Liberty's first shot of the contest. After a Lancer foul in the ninth minute of play, midfielder Juan F. Niño fired a well-placed shot around the Longwood wall off the free kick from the top of the left side of the 18-yard box, which went just wide of the near post.
After a corner kick in the 22nd minute was cleared by the host Lancers, Liberty quickly regained possession and scored in transition to take a 1-0 advantage at 21:32. Alex Verville moved around several Lancer defenders near the end line on the right side of the field and into the penalty area. The midfielder slipped a pass to fellow Flames midfielder Aseweh in front of goal. Aseweh beat Longwood goalkeeper Joel Hemrick with a low shot to the right corner for his first goal of the year and a Liberty lead.
With the Liberty defense stymieing the Lancer offense from organizing an offensive attack for most of the opening half, the Flames sustained their pressure on the Longwood net, but were not able to add to their advantage.
In the 28th minute, the host Lancers were able to get one of their two shots off in the period. Nick Surkamp sent a shot on net, which Liberty keeper Paul Gilbert was easily able to control for his lone save of the evening.
The Flames were able to create another scoring chance in the 38th minute for Aseweh, but the midfielder was unable to convert. Midfielder Thad Taylor, who entered the contest in the 33rd minute, found Aseweh open with a crossing pass on the left side. However, the midfielder lifted his shot over the net, keeping the score at 1-0.
In the half, the visiting Flames outshot the Lancers, 7-2, and held the edge in corner kicks, 3-0.
Longwood got the first chance of the second half in the 54th minute, with a free kick from just outside the left side of the 18-yard box. However, the shot attempt by midfielder Harvey Headley was blocked by defender Uriah Bentick, the last man on the inside of the Liberty defensive wall.
After the free kick, the play settled between the 18-yard boxes until the 65th minute. The Lancers had a corner kick attempt from the right side of the field go off the outside of the near post and bound out to the left side of the penalty area.
Flames defender Brian Edman was able to push the ball clear, starting a quick shot opportunity in transition. Forward Darren Amoo caught Hemrick out of position and lifted a shot, which appeared to be going in for the second Liberty goal of the contest. However, Longwood defender Adel Sarras was able to get back and slip the shot off the goal line to prevent the score.
Less than a minute later, the Flames extended their lead, scoring in transition. Edman settled a loose ball near midfield and lofted a high pass downfield. Forward Bullock beat both a defender and the goalkeeper Hemrick to the ball and tipped the ball into the empty net for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 Liberty advantage at 66:57.
Over the next the nine minutes, the Flames kept on the attack, firing three shots during the span. The best opportunity of the flurry came on the last shot of the three. Aseweh took a pass from Niño and beat Hemrick one-on-one, lifting a shot which defender Parker Arnold swept out of harm's way.
The Liberty defense did not allow a shot over the final 10 minutes of play, recording its second shutout in as many games to open the 2010 season.
The Flames outshot the Lancers, 14-4, and led in corner kicks, 8-3.
Gilbert had one save in the contest, while Hemrick made three saves for Longwood.
Liberty next travels to Lexington, Va., to participate in the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament, Sept. 10-12. The Flames will open the tournament on Friday against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Match time at VMI's Patchin Field is scheduled for Noon.