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Liberty to Face Loyola (Md.) in NCAAs

November 19, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Big South Champion Flames watch selection show Monday.

Big South Champion Flames watch selection show Monday.

The Liberty Flames, the 2007 Big South Conference Men's Soccer Champions, will square off against the Loyola (Md.) College Greyhounds in the first round of the NCAA Men's College Cup, the NCAA selection committee announced earlier this evening.

The Flames, who enter the championship with a 13-4-2 mark, will travel to Baltimore, Md., Saturday to face the Greyhounds, 18-3, in a 1 p.m. match at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The winner of the contest will face the College Cup's No. 13 seed, Maryland, on Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. in College Park, Md.

Liberty earned the Big South's automatic bid yesterday with a 2-1 victory over Radford in the championship game. The win was the Flames' fifth-straight victory, their longest winning streak of the season, as Liberty captured its first-ever Big South title.

It will be the first trip to the NCAA Men's College Cup for the Flames. Liberty's 13 wins are the most by a Liberty men's soccer squad since the 1999 team posted a 14-2-1 mark. The victory total is tied for third all-time in program history, behind the 1999 and 1985 teams, who each won 14 contests.

"We are excited about the opportunity to carry the banner of Jesus Christ and Liberty University to the NCAA Tournament," stated Flames head coach Jeff Alder. "It should be an entertaining first round between two good teams."

Loyola earned the automatic bid from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship yesterday with a 1-0 decision over Saint Peter's.

The Greyhound's 18 wins are the most the program has had since that 1993 squad finished with a 19-3-1 record. Loyola will be playing in its 14th NCAA Tournament match, and its seventh at the NCAA Division I level.

The contest will be the first meeting between the two squads in soccer and is one of 16 first round matches to be played on Friday or Saturday. The winners will advance to play the one of the College Cup's sixteen seeds on Nov. 28. This year's Men's College Cup culminates with the Final Four, December 14 and 16, at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.