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Liberty Men's Soccer Hosts Longwood in Home Opener, Tuesday

August 29, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Midfielder Juan F. Niño moves up field during a contest last season. Niño and the Flames host Longwood Tuesday.

The Liberty Flames men's soccer team hosts its first match of 2011, Tuesday evening. The Flames (0-1) will welcome the Longwood Lancers (1-0) to Osborne Stadium. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. It will be the sixth consecutive year the two teams have met in non-conference play.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Tuesday night's contest will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link under men's soccer in the schedule bar on the main page.

Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames, coached by Jeff Alder (97-74-16, 11 seasons), will be looking for their first victory of 2011, Tuesday evening.

The Flames were edged 1-0 on the road at IUPUI, Saturday. Despite outshooting its  host, 12-4, Liberty was held off the scoreboard in the Flames' opening contest of the year.

Liberty, who was picked to finish third in the Big South standings at season's end in the conference's preseason poll, return 17 players from last season's 10-7-1 squad.

The Flames return their two top scorers from a season ago, Darren Amoo and Phillip Aseweh. Amoo posted 27 points and netted 12 goals to lead the team a season ago, while Aseweh was the Flames' second-leading scorer with 15 points on four goals and seven assists.

In addition, Liberty returns several other players who were key contributors on the attack last season in forwards Alex Verville and Timothy Bullock and midfielders Juan F. Niño and Richard Nyarko.

Back on defense, the Liberty also returns two tested veterans in Greg White and Uriah Bentick. White has become a fixture in the middle of the Flames' back line, having started every game of his first two seasons at Liberty. Bentick earned South Atlantic Region and Big South Conference honors last season.

The two defenders will be joined by senior Chris Phillips for his final season in a Flames uniform. Phillips has played in over 60 games during his time at Liberty.

Freshman Josh Pacella started in goal for the Flames on Saturday, making one save.

A Look at Longwood
The Longwood Lancers started 2011 off on a winning note Saturday, defeating Randolph College, 2-0, Saturday in Farmville, Va.

Sophomore Nick Surkamp scored in the third minute for the Lancers, while freshman Zach Crandall added an insurance goal in the 63rd minute. Senior goalkeeper Joel Helmick recorded the shutout for the Lancers, the ninth blanking of his career.

Longwood welcomes back three, three-year starters in 2011 from last season's 2-13-4 team. Goalkeeper Helmick has started 49 of 52 matches and posted a 1.53 goals-against average during his career. Forward Zack Mahon has scored six goals with two assists for 14 points, including a career-high four goals in 2010. Defender Shane Johnson has appeared in 52 matches with 51 starts and has scored three goals with four assists for 10 points.

The Lancers are coached by Jon Atkinson, who is in his ninth year. Atkinson enters Tuesday's game with a 36-59-18 career record.

All-time Against Longwood
Tuesday's meeting will be the 18th meeting between Route 460 rivals Longwood and Liberty. The two teams have met in each of the last five seasons, with the Flames holding a 3-0-2 mark against the Lancers during that time.

Liberty has won the last two meetings, each by 2-0 margins.  Last season, midfielder Phillip Aseweh and forward Timothy Bullock each tallied a goal in the  Liberty victory in Farmville on Sept. 4. In 2009, Bullock and forward Darren Amoo scored goals in the second half in a 2-0 win at Osborne Stadium on Sept. 29.

Moving up the Career Charts
Entering Tuesday night's match, several Flames are climbing the Liberty career records list. Leading the way is forward Darren Amoo. The Accra, Ghana native enters the season tied for sixth on the Liberty career goal list with 30. With two more goals, the forward will move into a tie for fourth with current Liberty volunteer assistant coach Adrian Bumbut, who was a standout for the Flames from 2004-07.

In addition, Amoo ranks seventh all-time in program annals with 68 career points. Darryl Roberts is Liberty's all-time leader in points, compiling 94 from 2002-06.

Meanwhile, with 14 assists, senior midfielder Juan F. Niño is one shy of breaking into the top 10 on the program's career list. With his next helper, Niño will join Bumbut in 10th on the list with 15.

His fellow midfielder Phillip Aseweh is two shy of cracking the top 10 assist list.
Aseweh enters Tuesday's season-opening contest with 13 career assists.

Home Sweet Home
Taking a victory back to their respective campuses has not been an easy task for Liberty's opponents when visiting Lynchburg over the past six seasons. The Flames have posted a 33-8-4 record at Osborne Stadium during the span.

Last season, Liberty posted a 4-3 mark at home, while the Flames were unbeaten at Osborne with an 8-0-1 record in 2009.
This season, Liberty is scheduled to play eight games at home.

Iron Men
Entering Tuesday night's game, defenders Chris Phillips and Greg White look to extend their starting streaks.  Phillips, a senior and two-time team captain, has started 43 straight games for the Flames. He has not been out of Liberty's starting 11 since Oct. 24, 2008.

White has started every game during his time in a Liberty uniform.  The redshirt junior has drawn an opening assignment in each of the last 39 Flames games. White has been a regular starter in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

A Look Ahead
Liberty opens Big South Conference play with a visit to High Point, N.C., for a match with the Panthers on Monday.  Match time at Vert Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. High Point was selected as the favorite to capture the Big South crown at season's end in this year's Big South Conference preseason poll.