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Liberty Squares Off with Winthrop in BSC Quarterfinal
The defending Big South champion and No. 3 seed Liberty Flames men's soccer team will host the No. 6 seed Winthrop Eagles in a Big South Quarterfinal match at Osborne Stadium, Tuesday evening. The Big South match is scheduled for 6 p.m. The winner advances to the Big South semifinals against the winner of No. 2 seed Radford and No. 7 seed Gardner-Webb, Friday. The match to be held at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. is scheduled for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames
Tuesday evening's match will be video streamed LIVE. The feed will be available for a nominal fee on the Big South Network. The broadcast will be available on the World Wide Web at both LibertyFlames.com and BigSouthSports.com.
In addition, live stats powered by Gametracker will be available for Tuesday night's contest via LibertyFlames.com by clicking the live stats link under men's soccer in the schedule bar on the main page.
A Look at Liberty
Liberty (8-6-3, 6-1-3 Big South) ran its unbeaten streak to nine games, playing UNC Asheville to a scoreless tie in their final regular season contest, Friday. With 21 points in Big South play, the Flames, the defending conference champions, earned the third seed for the league's championship and the right to host a quarterfinal game. The defending Big South champions have advanced past the first round in five of the last six conference tournaments.
Forward Kyle Breitmeyer leads the Flames with 15 points on the season. He enters the week tied for fifth in the Big South with seven goals. Five of Breitmeyer's goals have come against Big South Conference opponents.
Defender Sam Duininck has scored three goals for the Flames. Senior defender Greg White and midfielder Sacheem Wilson have netted two markers apiece. Five other Liberty players have each scored a goal.
Midfielder Johnny Torres and defenders Tim Harbison and Uriah Bentick are tied for the team lead with three assists each.
Goalkeeper Scott Sutarik has played over 1,345 minutes between the posts this season for the Flames and enters Tuesday's contest with a 1.07 goals-against average and .761 save percentage. The sophomore goalkeeper has five shutouts. He has started every game and been stabilizing force for Liberty during its unbeaten streak. He has posted a 0.62 goals-against average and four shutouts over the nine games.
Head Coach Jeff Alder has led the Flames to a 116-85-22 record during his 12 seasons. Alder's Flames posted an 11-6-3 record in 2011, en route to their second Big South Conference crown and fifth consecutive season with a double-digit win total.
All-Time Against Winthrop
Tuesday's Big South Quarterfinal match will be the 34th meeting between Liberty and Winthrop and the holds a 20-10-3 record in the all-time series, which started in 1978. Winthrop has also been the Flames' most common opponent in the Big South tournament, with Liberty holding a slim 5-4-1 all-time edge in their 10 Big South Championship meetings.
This season, the Flames and the Eagles played to a 1-1 tie at Eagle Stadium on Oct. 20. Liberty freshman forward Kyle Glastetter scored his first career goal during the 87th minute in the contest.
Liberty and Winthrop did not meet during the Flames' run to the 2011 Big South Championship title or during the 2010 tournament. The 2009 Big South Championship title game was the last time the two teams have squared off during tournament play, with the Eagles taking the contest, 2-1, on Nov. 15 in Boiling Springs, N.C. Three of the last four meetings between Winthrop and Liberty in the conference tournament have gone into overtime.
Look at Winthrop
Winthrop (9-8-1, 5-4-1 Big South) fell 2-0 at Radford on Saturday in its final game of the regular season. With 16 points, the Eagles finished sixth in the Big South standings, garnering the No. 6 seed.
Senior forward Alex Isern leads Winthrop with 21 points on a team-leading seven goals and seven assists. Achille Obougou is next on the Eagles with 14 points. He has scored six goals and recorded two assists. Midfielder Marc Segarra also has netted six goals.
Senior Enrique Miranda is expected to get the call in the Winthrop net, Tuesday. He has posted a 0.89 goals-against average and a .811 save percentage in nine games this season. Miranda has recorded all three Eagle shutouts this season.
Head Coach Rich Posipanko is in his 24th year at Winthrop. The longest tenured and winningest coach in Big South Conference history, he has guided the Eagles to a 237-202-32 career mark. Posipanko has led Winthrop to four Big South titles, the most recent one in 2009.
Liberty in the Big South Championship
Since joining the Big South Conference for men's soccer in 1991, Liberty is 21-17-3 in Big South Championship matches. The Flames have posted an 8-2-2 record at the tournament during the past five seasons, reaching the title game three times during the span (2007, 2009 & 2011).
The Flames have reached the title game seven times in program history, winning the Big South crown twice.
Last season, Liberty captured the Big South title with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C. on Nov. 13. In 2007, Liberty won its first Big South crown with a 2-1 victory over Radford on Nov. 18 at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Flames' most common opponent in the tournament has been the Winthrop Eagles, over whom Liberty holds a slim 5-4-1 all-time edge in their 10 Big South Championship meetings. Liberty has played Radford nine times in the tournament and has posted a 5-2-2 mark against the Highlanders.
Liberty Against the 2012 Big South Championship Field in Tournament
Coastal Carolina.................... 1-1
High Point.............................. 2-2
Presbyterian College............. 0-0
Friday evening was the fifth time in six outings that Liberty has played into overtime. The Flames have gone 2-0-3 during the span. Overall this season, Liberty has gone into overtime six times, posting a 2-1-3 record.
75 and Counting
Senior defender Greg White started his 75th consecutive match, Friday night. The defender and two-time Liberty team captain has started every game of his Flames career.
His streak started on Sept. 1, 2009 in a 10-1 Liberty victory over Concord. This season and last season, he has played every minute in each of Liberty's contests.
2012 Big South Men's Soccer Championship
The conference championship schedule is as follows:
Tuesday (at Highest Seeds)
Game 1: #4 Campbell vs. #5 High Point, 7 p.m.
Game 2: #1 Coastal Carolina vs. #8 Presbyterian College, 7 p.m.
Game 3: #3 Liberty vs. #6 Winthrop, 6 p.m.
Game 4: #2 Radford vs. #7 Gardner-Webb, 6 p.m.
Friday (Bryan Park, Greensboro, N.C.)
Game 5: winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 6: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 7 p.m.
Sunday (Bryan Park, Greensboro, N.C.)
Game 7: winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, 2 p.m.