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Liberty to Square Off with American at Osborne Stadium, Friday

September 15, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty captain Kyle Carr

Liberty captain Kyle Carr

The Liberty men's soccer team will host the American Eagles, Friday evening at Osborne Stadium. Match time is schedule for 7 p.m.

The contest will be the second game of a soccer doubleheader at Osborne Stadium. The Liberty women's team will square off with Florida Gulf Coast in the first game of the evening at 4 p.m.

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 the 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
Liberty (3-2) pushed the unbeaten Buffalo Bulls into overtime, before falling 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Osborne Stadium. The Flames tied the contest on a header by Tresor Mbuyu of a free kick at 88:24. The forward's third goal of the year was the first allowed by Buffalo in six games and ended up sending the match to overtime. However in overtime, the Bulls scored on a penalty kick late in the first overtime for the 2-1 win.

With his third goal of the season, Mbuyu ties midfielder Jovanni Chavez for the team lead with three goals and seven points. Both players are tied for second in the Big South in goals and points. Sophomore Kevin Mendoza, who collected an assist on Mbuyu's goal Sunday, is tied for the conference lead and paces the Flames with three assists.

On the year, Liberty has outscored its opponents, 9-6.

Goalkeeper James Knoebel, who has played every minute between the posts for the Flames, was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week, last week. He enters Friday night's match with a 1.18 goals-against average and a .800 save percentage.

Head Coach Jeff Alder, a Liberty alum, is in his 16th season of leading the Flames. Liberty is 147-113-23 during his tenure.

A Look at American
The preseason favorite to win the Patriot League crown, American (3-1-2) enters the week receiving votes in the national polls. The Eagles suffered their first loss of the season last Friday, 3-1 to Gonzaga, before rebounding to defeat Cornell, 5-2, on Sunday.

American features a balanced offensive attack, outscoring its opponents, 14-10. The Eagles have five players with two goals apiece. Freshman midfielder Max Holdsworth leads American with five assists, including three in the Eagles' win over Cornell on Sunday.

Lucas Belanger has started all six games in the American net. The senior has posted a 1.58 goals-against average and a .688 save percentage.

Todd West is in his 17th year at American.  West has led the Eagles to a 152-127-43 mark during his tenure.

The Series
American and Liberty will be meeting for the fifth time on Friday night. The Flames hold a 3-1 record in the all-time series. Liberty defeated American, 1-0, in Washington, D.C., the last time the two teams met on Sept. 21, 2013.

Flames News and Notes

  • Goalkeeper James Knoebel was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week for games played Sept. 5-11. He recorded a shutout and made five saves in Liberty's 1-0 win at USC Upstate on Sept. 6, and made a career-high eight stops and stopped a penalty kick, this past Sunday against Buffalo. The previous week, teammate Jovanni Chavez was selected the Big South Attacking Player of the Week
     
  • Friday is the third of four soccer doubleheaders for the Flames and Lady Flames at Osborne Stadium.
     
  • The Flames have prevented their opponents from getting off to a fast start in 2016. Only one of the six goals that Liberty has allowed has been scored in the first half.
     
  • Liberty has a 1-2 record at Osborne Stadium, this season. In addition, the Flames played their first overtime game of 2016 in their 2-1 loss to Buffalo, Sunday.
     

A Look Ahead
Liberty next takes to the road for two matches. The Flames will first travel to Raleigh, N.C., to square off with the N.C. State Wolfpack on Tuesday. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Dail Stadium.

Liberty will then open Big South Conference play by visiting the Winthrop Eagles on Saturday. The Big South match is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Rock Hill, S.C.