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Liberty Squares Off with No. 12 Virginia

September 12, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Forward Timothy Bullock

Winners of its last two contests, the Liberty Flames men's soccer team travels to Charlottesville, Va., for a nonconference match with the No. 12 ranked Virginia Cavaliers, Tuesday night. Match time at Klockner Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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. Live stats will be provided by the Virginia Media Relations Department.

A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames (2-1) enter Tuesday night's contest off their first overtime game of the season, a 2-1 double overtime victory at American. It was the second straight win for the Flames.

With the contest knotted at 1-1 in the 108th minute, forward Darren Amoo netted his third goal of the season, giving the Flames the win. Senior midfielder Phillip Aseweh pounced on a clearing attempt, keeping the ball in Liberty's offensive zone and dropped a pass to senior forward Timothy Bullock. The senior sent a crossing pass in front of the goal for Amoo, who fired a left-footed shot into the right-hand corner of the net for the game winner at 107:55.

Defender Chris Phillips scored his first goal of the year, tying the contest at 1-1 in the 75th minute. Defender Uriah Bentick sent a crossing pass into traffic in front of the American net, which Phillips headed home.

Liberty head coach Jeff Alder has posted a 99-74-16 mark during his 11 seasons guiding his alma mater. His squad has outscored its opponents, 5-3, this season.

Amoo leads the Flames with three goals and six points, while Bullock has a goal and an assist for three points. Aseweh and Bentick have recorded two assists each for Liberty.

Freshman goalkeeper Josh Pacella has manned the Liberty net for every minute of 2011 season.  He has posted a 0.94 goals-against average and a .700 save percentage.

All-Time Against Virginia
Liberty and Virginia will be meeting for the 20th time Tuesday.  The Flames will be looking for their first ever win over the Cavaliers, as Virginia holds a 18-0-1 record in the all-time series.

Last season, the host Cavaliers were able to convert a penalty shot in the 80th minute, breaking a 1-1 tie, sending No. 4-ranked Virginia to a 2-1 victory over the Flames on Oct. 5 at Klockner Stadium. The loss ended Liberty's three-game winning streak.

Virginia scored in the fourth minute of play to take a 1-0 advantage, only to see Liberty knot the contest in the 53rd minute. Darren Amoo picked up a clearing attempt by a Virginia defender near midfield and sent a pass to an open Alex Verville for a breakaway scoring opportunity. Finding himself one-on-one with Cavalier goalkeeper Diego Restepo, the midfielder ripped a low shot into the open, far right corner of the goal, tying the score at 1-1.

A Look at Virginia
The No. 12 Cavaliers (4-1) opened ACC play with a 1-0 win over No. 25 Duke in Durham, N.C., Saturday night. The victory was the first win for Virginia at Duke since Oct. 20, 2001.  The Cavaliers will begin a four-game homestand with Liberty's visit, Tuesday.

Brian Span scored in the second minute and goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita made a clutch save on a penalty kick in the waning minutes for the Cavaliers in the victory.  Span's goal was his second of the year.

Considered one of the country's elite teams, Virginia has outscored its opponents, 13-4, and posted two shutouts this season for head coach George Gelnovatch (229-86-28, 17 seasons).

Forward Will Bates leads the Cavaliers with 11 points on a team-leading four goals and three assists. Fellow forward Span has two goals and two assists for six points, while midfielder Brian Ownby has scored two goals.

Freshman goalkeeper LaCivita has started every game for Virginia, posting a 0.81 goals-against average and a .810 save percentage.  The freshman has two shutouts, both 1-0 victories over Duke and Cincinnati.

Alder Closes in on 100
Liberty head coach Jeff Alder will enter Tuesday night's match one away from reaching 100 wins for his career.  Alder has guided his alma mater to a 99-74-16 record over 11 seasons.

Alder's teams have averaged nearly 10 victories per season (9.7) over his first 10 seasons. In addition, he is the only coach to lead the Flames to a Big South Championship and a NCAA Tournament berth, doing so in 2007.

In the past four seasons, Liberty has recorded 10 or more victories each year, the longest consecutive double-digit season win total streak in the coach's tenure and the first time since the 1996-99 campaigns.

First Time to OT
This past Friday, the Flames played more than the regulation 90 minutes for the first time this season, taking home a 2-1 win in double overtime at American.  Last season, Liberty had two contests go to overtime, posting a 1-0-1 mark in extra periods. Both matches occurred on VMI's Patchin Field in Lexington, Va. On Sept. 10, the Flames played to a 1-1 tie with Marshall in the Sculley Memorial Tournament hosted by VMI.   Later in the year, Liberty won 1-0 over VMI at Patchin Field on a goal by defender Greg White in the 98th minute.

Amoo Moves Up Career Charts
With the game-winner in a 2-1 win at American, Friday, forward Darren Amoo is now alone in fourth place on Liberty's career goals list with 33.  Amoo is one goal shy of tying Mark Seintz (1988-92), who had 34 career goals, for third. Darryl Roberts (2002-06) and James Wright (1992-94) each scored 36 goals during their Liberty career to top the program's all-time goals list.

In addition, Amoo now ranks sixth all-time in program annals with 74 career points. The forward is four points away for moving past Jose Gomez (1997-00), who posted 77 in his career, into fifth place. Darryl Roberts is Liberty's all-time leader in points, compiling 94 from 2002-06.

Aseweh Cracks Top 10
Senior midfielder Phillip Aseweh entered the program's Top 10 in career assists, with his helper on Amoo's game-winning goal at American on Friday.  With 15 career assists, Aseweh is tied for 10th place on the list with Liberty volunteer assistant coach Adrian Bumbut (2004-07).

Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Juan F. Niño is one assist shy of joining Aseweh and Bumbut. Niño enters Tuesday's match with 14 assists. Kian Brownlee (1996, 98-00) is the all-time assists leader in Liberty history with 27.

Iron Men
Defenders Chris Phillips and Greg White extended their starting streaks on Friday.  Phillips, a senior and two-time team captain, has started 45 straight games for the Flames. He has not been out of Liberty's starting 11 since Oct. 24, 2008.

Meanwhile, 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 41 Flames games. White has been a regular starter in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, with his streak starting on Sept. 1, 2009 in a 10-1, Liberty victory over Concord.

A Look Ahead
Liberty returns home on Friday to begin a three-game homestand by hosting the Howard Bison at 4 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.  Later that evening, Flames head coach Jeff Alder's former head coach, Bill Bell, will be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, along with former goalkeeping standout, Paul Annan.