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Flames-Thundering Herd Play to 1-1 Tie
The Liberty Flames and Marshall Thundering Herd fought through two extra periods, but could not decide a victor, tying 1-1 in the first match of the Sculley Memorial Tournament at Patchin Field, Friday afternoon.
Liberty moves to 2-0-1 on the year, recording its first deadlocked contest of the year. Marshall goes to 2-0-2 on the season.
Marshall, wearing its home whites on the neutral field, had the first two shot attempts of the game. The second shot by midfielder Anthony Virgara forced an early save by Flames goalkeeper Paul Gilbert in the fifth minute.
Liberty, wearing blue jerseys, used pressure for two corner kicks in the seventh and ninth minute. Both kicks by midfielder Juan F. Nino were cleared out of harm's way without the Flames organizing a shot attempt.
Liberty defender Chris Osborne created a shot opportunity for Darren Amoo in the 24th minute. Osborne beat a Marshall defender to his left side and slid a pass into the penalty area to an open Amoo. The forward turned and fired a shot from the left side which just missed the near post, keeping the contest scoreless.
Two minutes later, the Thundering Herd may have had their best scoring opportunity of the half. Off a corner kick, a header by midfielder Zach Hunter from the middle of the 18-yard box sailed high over the goal.
Play settled into midfield until the 41st minute. Flames midfielder Nino gained control of a loose ball just off the right side of the penalty area and ripped a low shot wide across the mouth of the goal.
In a half where shots were at a premium, Marshall held a 6-3 shot advantage. Liberty had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Marshall began the second half with an attempt off a breakaway in the opening minute. Forward Tom Jackson picked up a loose ball and moved down the right side of the field. The Thundering Herd forward released a shot from 25 yards out, which Gilbert was able to get a hand on and tip the shot off target. The deflected attempt bounced off the goal's crossbar and out of play, leading to a corner kick which the Flames cleared.
After the early shot, Liberty carried possession for the next 12 minutes, resulting in a shot attempt in the 58th minute. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh took a pass on the left corner of the box and beat a defender to move into open space. The midfielder fired a low shot towards the left corner of the net, which Marshall goalkeeper Daniel Withrow batted away with his right hand on a diving save.
The Thundering Herd took the lead with a goal in the 66th minute. Jackson picked up a loose ball in the Marshall end and moved up the right side of the field, lifting a shot from 25 yards out. The shot hit the far right goal post and ricocheted into the net for a 1-0 advantage at 65:39. It was Jackson's first goal of the season and the first tally of the year allowed by the Flames.
Liberty began to press the Thundering Herd goal as the game moved into the 70th minute, looking for the equalizer. The Flames' pressure resulted in a corner kick, which was cleared by Marshall.
In the 81st minute, a diving save by Thundering Herd keeper Withrow prevented Liberty from getting the equalizer. Amoo took a feed just outside the left side of the penalty area and ripped a shot, which the Marshall netminder dove out and blocked away.
A minute later, Liberty tied the contest. Midfielder Alex Verville sent a crossing pass from the left side of the field, finding the foot of Amoo. The forward ripped a low shot into the left corner of the net, tying the game at 1-1 at 82:36. The marker was Amoo's third of the year.
The Flames continued on the attack in the waning minutes of the second half. A shot by midfielder Richard Nyarko from 20 yards out in the 86th minute was tipped by Withrow over the net for a corner kick. However, Liberty could not organize a shot attempt on the ensuing kick.
In the final minute of regulation, Flames midfielder Chris Phillips stepped up on a loose ball in the middle of the field and blasted a shot from 20 yards out, which sailed over the crossbar, sending the game into overtime.
Marshall's attack garnered back-to-back corner kicks in the opening minute of the first overtime period. However, the Liberty defense was up to the challenge, clearing the ball without a Thundering Herd shot attempt.
In the 97th minute of the period, Marshall got a shot opportunity by Jackson off a corner kick. Flames keeper Gilbert saw the shot and easily made the save.
Liberty countered with a shot in the 98th minute. Verville ripped a shot from 20 yards from the left side of the field, which Withrow corralled for the save.
The Flames got a shot attempt in the 102nd minute during the second overtime on a corner kick. After Nino's corner kick was cleared, Amoo settled the ball and lifted a shot which was blocked out of bounds.
In the 106th minute, Liberty received a free kick after a Marshall foul. Aseweh lofted the ensuing kick over several defenders to the right side of the field, but the Thundering Herd were able to clear as the game ended 1-1.
Liberty outshot Marshall, 18-15, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 10-9.
Gilbert made six saves in the contest, while Withrow recorded four saves for Marshall.
Liberty will face St. Francis (N.Y.) Sunday on the final day of the Sculley Memorial Tournament. Match time is scheduled for 1 p.m.