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Roberts Becomes Liberty's All-Time Leading Scorer In Victory Over Keydets
Senior Darryl Roberts' goal in the 52nd minute proved to be the decisive one and moved the forward atop the Flames' all-time leading scorer list in Liberty's 3-2 Big South Conference victory over VMI, Tuesday afternoon, at Patchin Field.
With the victory, Liberty moves to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big South, while VMI falls to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in conference.
The Flames dominated the pace of play during the first half of the contest as Liberty out shot homestanding VMI, 13-6, in the opening period. In the 31st minute, the Flames were finally able to capitalize on their first half strong hold as Roberts (Sr., M/F, Trincity, Trinidad) gained possession of a loose ball in front and put it in the back of the net to give Liberty an early 1-0 edge.
Less than two minutes later, Adrian Bumbut (Sr., M/F, Zalua, Romania) attempted to get one passed Keydets keeper Upton Thomas who blocked the shot, but Bumbut got the rebound and this time the senior was able to find on opening for his first goal of the season and give the Flames a 2-0 lead going into the locker room.
The Flames continued to pressure VMI in the opening minutes of the second half and in the 52nd minute Juan Guzman (Fr., M, Charlotte, N.C.) got his first career point on the same play that Roberts became the school's all-time points leader as Roberts netted his second goal of the day off a feed from Guzman at the top of the box.
The Keydets thwarted Liberty's attempt at its second shutout of the season as Charles Nweke found his younger brother Tony Nweke on a give-and-go play in the 62nd minute to trim Liberty's lead to 3-1.
Nearly 15 minutes later, Charles Nweke took a pass from Addison Palanza and beat Flames' keeper Kevin Mahan (Sr., GK, Waterford, Mich.) on a one-on-one play to pull the Keydets within a goal, 3-2.
VMI continued to pressure the remainder of the second period, a half in which they finished with a 12-7 shot advantage, but the Flames' defense buckled down to hold on for the conference victory.
The Flames finished the game with a 20-18 overall shot advantage, while VMI finished with a 6-4 edge in corner kicks. The game was a physical match that saw 29 infractions called (12 fouls for Liberty and 17 for VMI), while both teams were issued three yellow cards each and VMI's Palanza was ejected from the game after a red card late in the second half.
Upton finished the contest with six saves in goal for VMI, while Mahan finished with three stops in the victory. Bumbut and Roberts both finished with four shots apiece with Roberts putting three of his four shots on goal.
With the pair of goals, Roberts becomes the school's all-time leading scorer with 90 career points, surpassing the previous record of 89 points held by James Wright (1992-94).
The Flames continued a three-game conference swing next Tuesday when they host rival Coastal Carolina at Liberty Soccer Field. Start time for the Big South match is set for 4 p.m.