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Big South Quarterfinal Preview: No. 4 seed Liberty vs. No. 5 seed Presbyterian

November 5, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The No. 4 seed Liberty Flames will host the No. 5 seed Presbyterian Blue Hose in a Big South Quarterfinal match, Sunday at Osborne Stadium. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m. The contest will be streamed live on the Big South Network.

The winner of the contest will advance to play the No. 1 seed Radford Highlanders at Cupp Stadium in Radford, Va., on Wednesday night.

The matchup will be the first meeting between Liberty (7-8-2, 4-3-1 Big South) and Presbyterian (6-10-2, 4-4 Big South) in the Big South tournament.

Last Saturday, the Flames defeated the Blue Hose, 2-0, at Osborne Stadium in their final 2016 Big South regular season home game.

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 on the women's soccer schedule/results panel.

 Live stats powered by StatBroadcast will also be available.

Quarterfinal Preview with Jeff Alder
Liberty Flames Head Coach Jeff Alder talked with LFSN's Nick Pierce, this morning.  The two take a look at Sunday's matchup and the Big South Men's Soccer Championship.

Mbuyu Selected 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year
Sophomore forward Tresor Mbuyu has been named the 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year. The award in voted upon by the conference's head coaches.

Mbuyu becomes the first Liberty player to be named the Big South Attacking Player of the Year and becomes the second Flame selected as a Big South Player of the Year. Current Liberty assistant coach Jose Gomez was named the Big South Player of the Year in 2000.

Three Liberty Flames Named to All-Conference team
Three Flames have earned all-conference honors, as voted on by the conference's coaches.

Forward Tresor Mbuyu, midfielder Kevin Mendoza and defender Kyle Carr were each named to the Big South All-Conference first team.

Goalkeeper James Knoebel and forward Rigoberto Rojas were selected to the Big Sout All-Freshman team, while defender Nico Bellarde was named to Big South All-Academic team.

A Look at Liberty
Despite two goals from Pepe Segarra and a goal from Rigoberto Rojas, Liberty fell in overtime, 4-3, at Longwood on Wednesday. A goal off a free kick in the 98th minute gave the Lancers the victory.

For the second match in a row, Segarra netted two goals to bring his season's total to six. The reigning Big South Attacking Player of the Week also scored a pair of goals in last Saturday's 2-0 victory over Presbyterian.

Forward Tresor Mbuyu recorded three assists on Wednesday to up his total to eight, second most in the conference. His assist total ranks fourth on Liberty's all-time season list and are the most since Phillip Aseweh had eight in 2011.

Mbuyu leads the Big South Conference with 28 points. The forward's point total is the most by a Flame since Darren Amoo collected 33 points in 2009. In addition, Mbuyu is tied for the conference lead in goals with 10.

Midfielder Kevin Mendoza is fifth in the Big South with 16 points. The midfielder is tied for seventh in the conference with six goals and is tied for fifth with four assists.

With his back-to-back two-goal games, Segarra now has 14 points on the year. The midfielder has one assist to go along with his six goals on the season.

Freshman forward Rigoberto Rojas is tied for third in the Big South with six assists. The forward has also scored three goals and has 12 points.

Goalkeeper James Knoebel has started 16 matches for the Flames, this season. The redshirt freshman has posted a 1.60 goals-against average and a .713 save percentage. He posted his fourth shutout of the season, last Saturday against Presbyterian.

Head Coach Jeff Alder, a Liberty alum, is in his 16th season of leading the Flames. Liberty is 151-119-25 during his tenure.

A Look at Presbyterian
Presbyterian will be making its second appearance in the Big South Championship on Sunday. Like the Flames, the Blue Hose fell in overtime, 3-2, Wednesday at Gardner-Webb.

Forward Mason Lewis leads Presbyterian and is tied for fourth in the Big South with 17 points. The forward is tied for fourth in the conference with seven goals.

Fellow forward Cade Crow also has reached double-digits in points with 13. Crow has scored five goals and assisted on three others.

Goalkeeper Connor Behrend has made 15 starts, posting a 1.14 goals-against average and a .812 save percentage. He has four shutouts.

Jonathan Potter is in his first season as head coach at Presbyterian.

The Series
After last Saturday's meeting between the Flames and Blue Hose, Liberty leads the all-time series, 9-0. Presbyterian and Liberty have only met as Big South Conference opponents.

Flames News and Notes

  • Currently, Liberty is 21st in scoring offense in the country, averaging 1.88 goals per contest.
     
  • The Flames have scored 32 goals, which ranks them 18th nationally.
  • Tresor Mbuyu is 12th in the country in points and is 19th in the nation in goals.
  • Defender Geovanny Murillo and forward Tresor Mbuyu are the only Flames to start every game this season. Murillo has played the most minutes of any Liberty player, this season.

Liberty's All-Time Marks in Big South Championship
After missing last season's Big South Championship, Liberty returns to the tournament. Since joing the Big South Conference for men's soccer in 1991, Liberty is 23-20-3 in Big South Championship matches.

The Flames have reached the title game eight times in program history, winning the Big South crown twice in 2007 and 2011. Both conference titles have come under head coach Jeff Alder.

Liberty's most common opponent during the Big South Championship has been the Winthrop Eagles. The Flames have posted a 5-6-1 record against the Eagles during their 12 Big South Championship meetings. In Liberty's last Big South Tournament match, the Flames fell, 4-1, to Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C., in the 2014 quarterfinals.
Liberty has faced Radford the second most times, nine, in the tournament and has posted a 5-2-2 mark against the Highlanders.

The Flames have matched up with current Big South members UNC Asheville (4-0), High Point (3-1), Gardner-Webb (1-0) and Longwood (1-0), along with former members Birmingham-Southern (1-2), Coastal Carolina (1-2), Charleston Southern (1-0), Elon (1-1), South Alabama (0-2) and UNCG (0-4) during the conference championship.