On a rainy night at Osborne Stadium, the Liberty Flames and the Longwood Lancers played to an exciting 3-3 tie, Tuesday evening, in Big South Conference men's soccer action.
After the Lancers took a 2-1 lead in the first half, the Flames came back with two goals 58 seconds apart early in the second half to take a 3-2. Visiting Longwood tied the game during the 63rd minute and the two teams played to a stalemate the rest of the way in the contest.
Liberty senior forward Sachem Wilson netted his team-leading fifth goal and assisted on another goal in the contest. Wilson has scored a goal in each of the last two games for Flames.
Fellow senior Tyler Bullock scored his second goal of the season and collected an assist, while freshman midfielder Kevin Mendoza also netted a goal for the Flames, his second of the year. Forward Bay Kurtz assisted on Bullock's marker.
Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Lee made six saves, while playing the full 110 minutes between the posts for the Flames. Longwood goalkeeper Carl Carpenter recorded one save over the first 72 minutes, before giving way to Carlos Canas, who played the final 38 minutes, making three saves.
Longwood held a 21-16 advantage in shots and a 16-9 edge in corner kicks in the back and forth, tightly contested match.
Liberty moves to 1-5-1 in the Big South and 5-9-1 overall. The tie snaps a four-game losing skid for the Flames. Longwood goes to 2-3-1 in conference play and 7-7-1 overall.
Liberty wore new pink jerseys for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of Head Coach Jeff Alder's wife Lori, who is battling the disease.
The Lancers jumped out to a 1-0 during the 30th minute. Off the ninth of 11 corner kicks for Longwood, defender Michael Durr scored his first goal of the season. Midfielder Dan Campos sent his corner kick to the near top corner of the 18-yard box for Durr, who punched it home for a visitor advantage.
After Longwood fought off three consecutive corner kicks by the Flames during the 35th minute, Bullock knotted the game during the 36th minute. Kurtz drew a Lancers defender and sent a pass forward to a wide open Bullock on the right side of the box. The senior ripped a shot into the open right-hand side of the net, tying the game at 1-1.
However, Longwood went back in front less than a minute later. Midfielder Christian Keilty pounced on a loose ball and sent a pass to the top of the box for Lancer leading scorer Willy Miezan. The forward scored his 10th marker of the season with a shot inside the right post, giving the Lancers a 2-1 advantage they would take into halftime.
Liberty's Wilson opened the second half by getting free on the right side of the 18-yard box during the 50th minute, but pushed a shot wide of the far post.
The Flames' forward made good on his next attempt during the 55th minute. Bullock made a long run with the ball into the right side of the box, sending a crossing pass into the center of the box for Wilson, who blasted it home to tie the score again, this time at 2-2.
Less than a minute later, Wilson pounced on a loose ball and pushed a pass forward to Mendoza at the top left corner. Mendoza hit the ball in stride and scored with a shot to the far left post, putting the Flames in front at 3-2.
Longwood tied the game for the third and final time during the 63rd minute. Zach Crandall scored his fifth goal of the season and third goal in as many contests form the box.
Liberty midfielder Blessing Tahuona had a shot turned away by Canas during the 75th minute, while Mendoza had an attempt go wide during the 80th minute.
The only shot of the first overtime by Longwood's Zach Crandall was easily saved by Liberty keeper Lee during the 92nd minute.
In the second overtime, Liberty was able to get four shots off, while Longwood had one, as neither team was able to break the tie.
Liberty next will complete its 2015 home schedule on Saturday. The Flames will host the Presbyterian Blue Hose in a Big South Conference match for Senior Day at Osborne Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. Before the match, the Flames playing in their last regular season home game at Liberty will be honored.