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Liberty Men's Soccer Hosts Bluefield for 2015 Season Opener

August 27, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior Jamie Foxwell and the Flames will open their 2015 season, Friday at Osborne Stadium.
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The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will open its 2015 campaign, Friday. For the second consecutive season, the Flames will host the Bluefield Rams to open their year at Osborne Stadium. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

The contest will be the first match of 2015 for both teams. The match will be the second contest at Osborne Stadium on Friday, as the Liberty women's soccer team will face Tennessee earlier in the day.

The match will begin the 41st year of Liberty men's soccer and the 15th season that the Flames have been under the guidance of Liberty alumnus head coach Jeff Alder (138-101-23, 14 seasons).
 

How to Follow the Flames
A free live video stream courtesy of the Liberty Flames Sports Network and the Big South Network will be available by clicking the appropriate link on schedule/results panel under men's soccer on LibertyFlames.com.

Live stats powered by StatBroadcast will also be available for the contest by clicking the appropriate link on the men's soccer schedule/results panel of LibertyFlames.com.

A Look at Liberty
Led by senior first team All-Big South defender Tim Harbison and senior all-conference players Blessing Tahuona and Sachem Wilson, Liberty welcomes back 13 players who saw significant playing time from last season's 11-6-1 team.  In addition, the Flames return 10 of their 12 goal scorers from 2014.

For the second straight year, Wilson led the Flames in goals, scoring eight. Team captain Harbison was second with four goals and anchored the defense for Liberty, last season.

Liberty will have a new goalkeeper in 2015 with the graduation of Scott Sutarik.  Junior Jeremy Lee is the lone returner, who has seen significant minutes in goal. Lee started one game last season, after starting 11 contests in 2013.

Season Openers
Liberty is 26-14 all-time in season openers and 9-5 during Alder's tenure. The Flames are opening their season against Bluefield for the second consecutive year. Last season, Liberty defeated Bluefield, 2-1, at Osborne Stadium on August 29. Current Flames Khalil Karl and Jovanni Chavez each scored a goal in the victory.

A Look at Bluefield
Bluefield opens its second season under head coach Chase Neidig on Friday evening. Neidig led the Rams to a 12-10-1 mark in 2014.

Friday night's match will be the fourth meeting between the Flames and the Rams on the pitch. The two teams will be meeting to open their seasons for the third time since 2010.  Liberty leads the all-time series, 3-0.


Flames News and Notes

  • Over the summer, the Osborne Stadium playing surface was replaced. A new drainage system and natural turf surface was installed.
  • Friday is the first of two Liberty soccer doubleheaders, this season. On Sept. 26, the men will host Winthrop at noon, while the women will play Charleston Southern at 4 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.
  • Defender Tim Harbison has started every game in his first three seasons at Liberty. The Auburn, Ala., native and team captain enters 2015, having started 56 consecutive matches.
  • Blessing Tahuona joined Harbison and Wilson on the 2014 Big South All-Conference team. Midfielder Jovanni Chavez was also named to the 2014 Big South All-Freshman squad.
  • Harbison and Wilson also earned VaSID All-State honors.
  • Last season, Liberty averaged 1.67 goals per game, while allowing 1.27 goals.  The Flames posted six shutouts.
  • The Liberty Flames men's soccer team has been honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) with the association's team academic award for the 2014-15 academic year. The award recognizes programs with a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Liberty posted 10 or more wins in a season for the eighth time in head coach Jeff Alder's tenure in 2014.


A Look Ahead
Liberty travels to Williamsburg, Va., for a contest against the Tribe of William & Mary, Tuesday.  Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
A week from Friday, the Flames return to Osborne Stadium. Liberty will host the N.C. State Wolfpack. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.