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Flames Fall at No. 24 Coastal Carolina
Despite an early second-half goal by the Flames, the No. 24 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers scored three unanswered goals to down Liberty, 3-1, Sunday afternoon, in Big South action at CCU Soccer Field.
Liberty drops to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in Big South Conference play. The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Flames. Coastal Carolina, ranked 24th in the nation by Soccer America, moves to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in conference action.
During a tightly played first half, neither team found many scoring opportunities. The Flames and the Chanticleers each had two shots attempts during the period.
Host Coastal Carolina opened the half with a header shot by TeeJay East off a free kick during the third minute, which went wide.
Chanticleer defender Henrik Robstad had the only other host shot during the opening 45 minutes, sending an attempt high during the 32nd minute.
Liberty's two shots came during a two-minute span. Off a corner kick, a header by defender Chris Phillips was blocked away by defender during the 37th minute.
Two minutes later, midfielder Juan J. Niño forced the lone save by either goalkeeper in the half. His shot was turned aside by Coastal Carolina netminder Scott Agevine to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Liberty jumped on the scoreboard during the opening minutes of the second half. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh, the Big South Conference leader in assists with six, sent a pass across the field for fellow midfielder Alex Verville. The senior ripped a low shot to the far, left post for his third goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
The Chanticleers tied the contest during the 64th minute on the first of three goals by forward Ashton Bennett. The forward jumped on a loose ball from 15-yards out and scored his seventh goal of the contest to knot the score at 1-1.
In the 74th minute, Liberty had a chance to break the deadlock on a penalty kick after a foul by Coastal Carolina in the 18-yard box. However, forward Darren Amoo's kick was stopped by Agevine to keep the game tied.
Bennett put the host Chanticleers into the lead during the 78th minute. The Big South's leading goal scorer headed a free kick into the upper right corner of the net for his eighth goal of the year, giving Coastal Carolina a 2-1 advantage.
Liberty rallied with two shots during the closing minutes, trying to find the equalizer. A shot by Amoo went wide in the 86th minute, while a header by Verville in the 88th minute was also wide.
Bennett sealed the Chanticleer win in the final minute, scoring from 18 yards out for the 3-1 final.
Coastal Carolina outshot Liberty, 14-9, in the contest. Each team had two corner kicks each.
Liberty goalkeeper Josh Pacella made three saves, while manning the Flames' goal throughout the entire 90 minutes. Coastal Carolina's Angevine had two saves in the contest.
The Flames continue Big South play next Saturday. Liberty will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., for a contest with the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. Match time is scheduled for 4 p.m.