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Liberty Downs UNC Asheville
The Liberty Flames had three different players score goals, en route to a 3-0 victory over the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Saturday afternoon in a Big South Conference men's soccer contest at Greenwood Field.
Liberty moves to 3-4-1 in Big South action and 8-6-1 overall. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Flames and was the first match during the month of October in which Liberty scored more than one goal in a contest. UNC Asheville falls to 2-5-1 in conference play and 3-11-2 overall.
After a Liberty corner kick during the second minute of play, Bulldog Branden Lassen came free for the first shot of the contest, which Flames goalkeeper Scott Sutarik stopped for his first save of the afternoon.
In the 11th minute, midfielder Alex Verville fired the first shot of the afternoon for Liberty. However, UNC Asheville goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen stopped the attempt.
The Flames jumped onto the scoreboard during the 18th minute. After a foul gave Liberty a free kick from 20 yards out, defender Uriah Bentick buried the kick into the far right corner of the net for his fourth goal of the year, giving the Flames a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, neither team was able to find many scoring opportunities during the remainder of the half. The Bulldogs attempted three shots, which were each blocked down by a swarming Liberty defense. Midfielder Junior Amaya fired the lone Flames shot of the remaining 27 minutes of the first half, causing a diving save by Hurskainen during the 33rd minute.
Asheville outshot Liberty, 6-3, during the opening half. The Bulldogs also held a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.
Liberty erupted for two quick goals during the opening 12 minutes of the second half. Darren Amoo beat Hurskainen with a shot from inside the 18-yard box after a pass from midfielder Phillip Aseweh just 48 seconds into the period. The forward's fourth goal of the year upped the Flames' advantage to 2-0.
Later in the 57th minute, midfielder Aseweh fed fellow midfielder Juan F. Niño with a pass into the 18-yard box for a shot in open space, which Niño converted for his second goal of the season and the final margin of 3-0.
The Liberty defense took over, as Asheville tried to rally. Back-to-back shots by Bryan Bartels and Jake Hagedorn were stopped by Sutarik, keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard during the 63rd minute.
After a save by Hurskainen on an attempt by Nyarko during the 70th minute, Sutarik turned away a shot by David Wood during the 73rd minute.
During the 89th minute, Sutarik made his final save of the night on a shot by Bulldog Bobby Castro, sealing the shutout.
For the match, UNC Asheville outshot Liberty, 16-10, with shots on goal even at 6-6. The Bulldogs also held the edge in corner kicks, 9-5.
Sutarik registers his third shutout in five games. The freshman made a season-high six saves in the Liberty net. Hurskainen recorded three saves for the Bulldogs
With a victory in their final road game of the regular season, the Flames return home for their final contest of the 2011 regular season, Wednesday. Liberty will host the Radford Highlanders. Match time at Osborne Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m.