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Men's Soccer Faces USC Upstate in 1st Road Match of 2017, Saturday

September 1, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Rigo Rojas

Rigo Rojas

WEEK TWO MEN'S SOCCER NOTES

The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will travel to Spartanburg, S.C., for its first road game of its 2017 season, Saturday. Liberty (2-0) will face the USC Upstate Spartans (0-3) for the second straight year at County University Stadium. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. 

Liberty and USC Upstate will be meeting for the second consecutive season at County University Stadium, Friday. Last year, the Flames defeated the Spartans, 1-0, on Sept. 6. Defender Shalom Dutey scored the only goal of the game during the 68th minute.

Flames Open 2017 with Home Wins
Liberty began its 2017 campaign with a 7-0 win over Southern Virginia, last Friday and a 3-0 victory over VMI on Tuesday at Osborne Stadium.

Forward Tresor Mbuyu has scored goals in both contests. The junior netted two goals and an assist against Southern Virginia and scored the first goal of Liberty's win over VMI.

Tuesday night, freshman Trent Tarnstrom assisted on a goal by Mbuyu to give the Flames a 1-0 advantage and later, scored the first goal of his collegiate career in the second half in the Liberty's win over VMI. Shaun Stocker, a transfer, netted his first goal in a Liberty uniform, ripping a free kick under the crossbar off a free kick from 25 yards out.

Stocker's Goal on SC Top 10
Midfielder Shaun Stocker's first goal as Liberty Flame recieved national attention, Tuesday evening. During the 76th minute of Liberty's victory over VMI, Stocker ripped a free kick from 25 yards into the top of the net. The marker was the number 2 highlight of the night on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10.

Newcomers Make Mark
Liberty men's soccer has welcomed 13 newcomers to its team in 2017. The Flames have eight freshmen along with five transfers among the team's new faces.

Several of the new Liberty arrivals have already made their mark during the first two games of the season. Five first-time Flames have scored a goal. Transfers Bobby Bynum and Shaun Stocker each have netted their first goal in a Liberty uniform, while freshmen Evan Godfrey, Trent Tarnstrom and Matthew Zacyzk have each scored the first goal of his career.

Tarnstrom has also assisted on two goals to post four points in two games.

Notables
• The Flames were tabbed to finish third in the 2017 Big South Preseason Poll. 
• Liberty junior forward Tresor Mbuyu has been selected as the 2017 Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Attacking Player of the Year.
• Head Coach Jeff Alder is in his 17th season at Liberty. Alder has led his alma mater to 153-120-26.
• The Flames return 10 of their starting 11 and welcome back 12 players who played in 10 or more contests, last season.
• This season, the Flames will have members from seven different countries on their roster.  Liberty players hail from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Mexico, Spain and the United States. In addition, several Liberty players lived in Africa, before calling the U.S. home.
• Juniors Nico Bellarde and Kevin Mendoza will serve as captains for the Flames in 2016 season.
• Mbuyu lead the Big South with 29 points and 10 goals last season. Mendoza also was among the conference leaders. The midfielder finished the year fifth with 16 points and seventh with six goals.