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Gardner-Webb Drops Liberty, 2-0
Visiting Gardner-Webb scored at the close of the first half and early in the second half, defeating the Liberty Flames, 2-0, in a Big South men's soccer match Tuesday night at Osborne Stadium.
Liberty falls to 3-3 in Big South action and 7-6-1 overall. Gardner-Webb moves to 3-2 in conference play and 5-8 overall.
After neither team fired a shot in the opening eight minutes of action, the two teams exchanged shots starting with Gardner-Webb in the ninth. Midfielder Stephen Maxwell attempted the contest's first shot, lifting his kick high over the goal. A minute later, Phillip Aseweh headed a pass into the 18-yard box just over the crossbar for Liberty's first shot attempt.
The Flames held possession for most of the first half, with Gardner-Webb attempting to counter-attack. Liberty midfielder Juan F. Niño forced a save by Bulldog goalkeeper Adam Garcia, ripping a shot off a free kick in the 26th minute.
In the 43rd minute, a blast by Liberty midfielder Thad Taylor from 30 yards out hit the crossbar and bounced clear. The shot came after Garcia was caught out of position during a Flames attack.
Gardner-Webb took a 1-0 lead to intermission, scoring in the final minute of the half. Off a long throw into the 18-yard box, a battle for possession ensued. The ball came clear on the left post for Bulldog Jon Ole Reinhardsen, who punched the ball into the open left side for his second goal of the year to send the visitors to intermission with an advantage.
In the half, Liberty outshot Gardner-Webb, 8-2, but trailed at halftime.
After a corner kick for the Flames in the early moments of the second half, midfielder Romeo Kabanda upped the Bulldog lead to 2-0. Kabanda picked up a loose ball 25 yards out on the left side of the field and lined a shot into the far left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead at 46:54.
Kabanda followed his goal by forcing Liberty goalkeeper Paul Gilbert to make a diving save in the 51st minute.
In the 53rd minute, Aseweh and forward Darren Amoo used give-and-go passing to move Amoo into space for a shot from close range. However, the attempt slid wide of the far post, keeping the Flames off the scoreboard.
Despite the miss, the play began a Liberty rally, where the Flames were able to get six consecutive shots off without a Gardner-Webb attempt.
Midfielder Alex Verville came free on the left wing in the 61st minute, but Garcia was able to make a stop. A minute later on a free kick, a header by Greg White hit the left post and bounced out of bounds.
In the 65th minute, midfielder Chris Phillips lined a shot from 25 yards out, which Garcia once again corralled for a save. A minute later off another free kick, a header shot by Aseweh hit the post.
After weathering the Liberty pressure, Gardner-Webb was able to get a quality shot of its own in the 69th minute, which Gilbert saved to prevent the Bulldogs from extending their lead.
The Flames had four shots over the final 10 minutes, but none of them went on goal, as Gardner-Webb sealed a 2-0 victory.
Liberty outshot Gardner-Webb, 20-8, and held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
Gilbert made two saves for the Flames, while Garcia recorded eight stops for the Bulldogs.
Liberty steps out of conference play, hosting the Southern Virginia Knights, Friday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night.