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Bumbut Blasts Flames Past High Point
Liberty, playing without several starters including leading scorer Darryl Roberts (R-Sr., F, Trincity, Trinidad), improves to 4-3 in Big South action and now owns a 6-5 overall mark, while High Point drops to 3-2 in the Big South and 4-8-3 overall.
With the score tied at 1-1 less than two minutes into overtime, Bumbut (Sr., MF, Zalau, Romania) picked up a loose ball off the right side of the field and broke past a defender into open space. The forward then launched a blast from just outside the box into the lower left-hand corner of the net for the golden goal and a 2-1 Flames victory.
The match opened with Liberty controlling play throughout the first half. In the opening stanza, the Flames outshot the Panthers, 10-3. Despite the advantage, the contest went to intermission without a score.
In the second half, Liberty went on top in the 58th minute on Bumbut's first goal of the game. Midfielder Jeremiah Kappler (Jr., Bear, Del.) found the forward in the middle of the box with a thrown-in which Bumbut turned and put past High Point goalkeeper Adam Ross for his third goal of the season.
Keeping the pressure on, the Flames tried to extend in the 69th minute as defender Osei Telesford (Sr., San Juan, Trinidad) headed down a corner kick in the box to Bumbut. The senior sent a shot towards the left upper corner of the net with the keeper off his line. However, Panther forward Josh Windley prevented the ball from going in by heading the ball out of harm's way.
Counter attacking throughout, the Panthers had an opportunity in the 87th minute, only to have Liberty make a team save to preserve its advantage and set up a wild finish.
With less than a minute remaining, Liberty was called for a foul just outside the 18-yard box setting up a free kick. The referee stopped the clock to caution a Flames' player with 25 seconds left. Once play was resumed, High Point's Chris Archer lifted the free kick over the Liberty wall and into the right-upper corner of the net to tie the match at 1-1 and send it to overtime.
In the overtime, Bumbut gained control of the ball near midfield shortly after the start of the period, got free, and beat the keeper one-on-one for his fourth goal of the season and the game-winner.
On the afternoon, Liberty outshot High Point, 21-7. The Flames also held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Due to a solid defensive effort in front of him, goalkeeper Kevin Mahan (Sr., Waterford, Mich.) only had to make one save in the Liberty net on the afternoon. Ross, who made several nice saves in the contest, finished with seven for High Point.
Bumbut led all players with seven shots on the afternoon. Archer led the Panthers with four.
The contest completes Big South play for the Flames with a 4-3 record. They will now await the outcome of the next two weeks to determine seeding for the conference's championship, Nov. 2-5 in Radford, Va.
Liberty next travels to Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday for a non-conference match with the Wofford Terriers. Match time is set for 6 p.m.