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Liberty Faces Marshall, George Washington at Sculley Memorial Tournament
The defending Big South champion Liberty Flames men's soccer team journeys to Lexington, Va., for the Sculley Memorial Tournament hosted by VMI, Friday and Sunday. Liberty will square off with the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first game of the tournament at Patchin Field, Friday at 1 p.m.
The Flames will then return to Lexington for the final day of the Sculley Memorial Tournament on Sunday to face the George Washington Colonials. Match time is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
The contests are the middle two games of four straight contests for the Flames away from Lynchburg.
How to Follow the Flames
Live Stats will be able for both contests via LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link under men's soccer in the schedule bar on the main page. Live stats are provided courtesy of the VMI Media Relations office.
A Look at Liberty
The Liberty Flames began Big South play with a dominating 3-0 win at Longwood, last Saturday. Defenders Sam Duininck and Greg White, along with midfielder Juan Niño, each netted goals for the Flames in the shutout. The goals were the first of the year for all three players.
Seeing his first action of 2012, goalkeeper Scott Sutarik made one save, combinng with the Liberty defense to secure its first shutout of the year. The shutout was the seventh in 11 career starts for the sophomore goalkeeper. Redshirt sophomore Sam Chappell garnered the first start of his Liberty career and played all 90 minutes, making three saves, in the Flames season opener against N.C. State on Aug. 28.
Head Coach Jeff Alder has led the Flames to a 109-80-19 record during his 12 seasons, capturing his 100th victory in a 2-0 win at No. 10 Virginia last season. Alder's Flames posted an 11-6-3 record in 2011, en route to their second conference crown and fifth consecutive season with a double-digit win total.
The Sculley Memorial
Liberty has played in the Sculley Memorial each year of the tournament's existence. Hosted by Big South member VMI, the tournament honors Jay Sculley, the first Keydet varsity men's soccer coach, who served as the team's coach from 1972-73 and from 1977-80. He also taught at the institution.
Played in 2009 and 2010, the tournament returns with a four-team field and two matches each on Friday and Sunday at Patchin Field on VMI's campus. The four-team field includes Liberty, the Marshall Thundering Herd, the George Washington Colonials and the host VMI Keydets.
Liberty and VMI will not meet on the weekend, as the two squads will square off in Big South Conference play at Patchin Field on Oct. 16.
The Flames are 2-1-1 in their four games during the Sculley Tournament. Liberty defeated Rider, 4-0, and fell to St. Francis (N.Y.), 1-0, in 2009. Liberty tied Marshall, 1-1, and beat St. Francis (N.Y.), 3-1, in 2010.
This year's tournament schedule is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 7
1 p.m. – Liberty vs. Marshall
4 p.m. – George Washington at VMI
Sunday, Sept. 9
12 p.m. – Liberty vs. George Washington
3:30 p.m. – Marshall at VMI
All-Time Against Marshall
Friday afternoon will be the ninth meeting between the Flames and the Thundering Herd on the soccer pitch and the first since the two met in the 2010 Sculley Memorial, a 1-1 tie. Liberty leads the all-time series, 4-2-2.
All-Time Against George Washington
The Colonels and Flames will meet for the fifth time on the soccer pitch and the first since 2000, Sunday. George Washington leads the all-time series, 3-1.
The Colonels defeated the Flames, 4-1, in the D.C. Challenge in Washington, D.C., Sept. 2, 2000.
A Look at Marshall
The Thundering Herd enters Friday's matchup with the Flames unbeaten, with a 2-0-1 record. In its last contest, Marshall defeated IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind., this past Monday, 1-0.
Senior midfielder Tom Jackson is off to a fast start in 2012, leading the Thundering Herd with two goals and assisting on another. Forward Eddy Prugh has the other Marshall goal on the year, netting the game winner on Monday.
Senior Daniel Withrow has started all three games in goal for the Thundering Herd and has not given up a goal this season.
Head Coach Bob Gray is in his 18th season at Marshall. One of the winningest active coaches in the country, he has led the Herd to a 413-223-48 record during his tenure.
A Look at George Washington
The Colonels will open the Sculley Tournament against VMI on Friday with a 2-1 record. George Washington comes off a 2-1 win this past Saturday at Howard.
Forward Tyler Ranalli has paced the Colonials in scoring in the early going, with two goals and an assist. Midfielder Baily Hinders has netted the other George Washington goal on the season.
J.P. van der Merwe and Alejandro Almodova have split time in the Colonial net in the early going. Almodova started George Washington's first two games and has posted a 1.78 goals-against average. Van der Merwe started in Saturday's win and has a 0.67 goals-against average in the early stages of 2012.
Greg Jones is in his first year as coach of the Colonials. He was an assistant coach for his alma mater, George Washington, for the past four years, before taking over as head coach after last season.
Against the Big South
With their 3-0 victory at Longwood this past Saturday, Liberty started its Big South play at 1-0. Last season, the Flames won their second Big South Championship with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb at Greene Harbison Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Liberty is 88-78-11 all-time in Big South play. The Flames have posted a .500 or better conference ledger in 19 out of their 21 seasons in the conference.
The Flames will complete their four-game road swing at Howard, next Wednesday. Match time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Green Stadium in Washington, D.C.