The Liberty Flames
The defending Big South Champion Liberty men's soccer team will open defense of its 2007 title, as the Flames received the No. 5 seed for next week's Big South Men's Soccer Championship. The eight-team tournament is set to begin Thursday in Conway, S.C. The seedings were determined today, after the conclusion of the conference season this afternoon. Liberty finished fifth in the Big South regular-season standings with 13 points, by virtue of a 4-3-1 league mark. The Flames will square off against the No. 4 seed High Point Panthers, who completed conference play with a 4-2-2 mark for 14 points, at noon in the first game of the day, Thursday. The two teams have split a pair of Big South Championship meetings, with the Flames taking a 2-1 victory in 2003 and Panthers winning in 2000 by the same margin. Liberty will enter the contest with a 9-5-2 overall record after battling UNC Asheville to a 0-0 draw this afternoon at Liberty Soccer Field. In their last six contests, the Flames are unbeaten, posting a 4-0-2 mark and recording three shutouts. On the tail end of the streak, Liberty has played in three consecutive overtime contests, going 1-0-2. Winthrop captures the 2008 Big South men's soccer regular-season championship with a 6-2 conference record for 18 points and will be the championship's top seed. The next four places in the league standings were separated by only three points. Coastal Carolina posted a 5-2-1 league mark and 16 points to grab the No. 2 seed, while Big South newcomer Gardner-Webb finished 5-3 with 15 points to pick up the No. 3 seed. High Point and Liberty followed closely behind. UNC Asheville garners the No. 6 seed with a 3-3-2 mark and 11 points. Radford, 3-4-1 and 10 points, and VMI, 1-6-1 and four points, round out the tournament bracket with the No. 7 and No. 8 spots, respectively. The 2008 Big South Men's Soccer Championship will be played on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, beginning Thursday with four games, and concluding with the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 16. The Big South Champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament. The Conference Championship schedule is as follows: Thursday, Nov. 13 Game 1: No. 4 High Point vs. No. 5 Liberty, Noon Game 2: No. 1 Winthrop vs. No. 8 VMI, 2:30 p.m. Game 3: No. 3 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 6 UNC Asheville, 5 p.m. Game 4: No. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 7 Radford, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 14 Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (Semifinals), 4 p.m. Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (Semifinals), 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (Championship), 2 p.m.
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