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Despite Strong Effort, Flames Fall 2-0 to #3 Cavaliers
With the non-conference setback, Liberty falls to 4-5 on the season, while Virginia improves to 11-1-0, its best start since 2001. The Flames dropped a 1-0 decision to then #1 North Carolina at Liberty Soccer Field earlier in the year.
The two teams traded shots in the first 20 minutes of the match with Liberty's Josh Boateng (So., MF, Accra, Ghana) and Virginia's Nico Colaluca both getting two shots apiece.
The Cavaliers then struck in the 25th minute. Zola Short had a throw-in from the right side. His throw found the head of Yannick Reyering, who flicked it to Adam Cristman. Cristman's header found Colaluca, who had taken all three of Virginia's shots in the contest, inside the six-yard box. Colaluca knocked in his fifth goal of the season, giving the Cavaliers an early 1-0 lead.
After the goal, play between the two squads remained even as they once again traded three shots apiece without further scoring in the half.
In the second, Chris Tierney gave Virginia a 2-0 lead on his first goal of the season in the 75th minute. Neil Barlow found Sean Hinkle over the middle. Hinkle dribbled into the box and found Tierney on the left-hand side. His left-footed shot from 12 yards found the inside of the left post.
The Flames put pressure on the Cavalier defense in the final 15 minutes as they outshot Virginia, 3-1, after the goal, but were unable to breakthrough.
Virginia outshot Liberty, 15-12 on the evening, while the Flames held a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks.
Kevin Mahan (Sr., Waterford, Mich.) made a season-high five saves in net for Liberty. Senior Ryan Burke tallied five saves for the Cavaliers in picking up his ninth win and his sixth shutout of the season.
Boateng, Adam Dupere (Fr., MF, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Michael Griffith (Jr., D. Rocky Mount, Va.) had two shots apiece for the Flames, while Colaluca led all players with five for Virginia.
After stepping out of conference, Liberty returns to Big South play on Saturday night when it hosts the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Match time is set for 7 p.m.