Timothy Bullock is congratulated by Chris Phillips after scoing a goal last year. Both players are back this season as the Flames begin preseason practice today.
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will begin its preseason preparation for the upcoming 2010 season today. After finishing last season with a 12-5-3 record, the Flames will be looking to capture the program's second Big South crown and record a double-digit victory total for the fourth consecutive year in 2010.
Head Coach Jeff Alder will open preseason practice with a roster of 25 players, 17 of which return from last season's squad. Among those returning for the Flames are the 2009 Big South-leading goal scorer and South Atlantic Region team member Darren Amoo, All-Big South forward Timothy Bullock, All-Big South midfielder Chris Phillips and midfielders Phillip Aseweh, who finished the year fourth in the Big South in scoring, Alex Verville and Juan J. Niño.
In addition, defenders Greg White, Chris Osborne and Thad Taylor return after helping the Flames post 12 shutouts last season, tying the school record. The two remaining goalkeepers from last season's team, Panashe Nhekairo and Paul Gilbert, who redshirted in 2009, will vie for the starting goalkeeper spot with the departure of A.J. Madero, who is now a graduate assistant with the team.
The 2009 Flames ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense by averaging 2.15 goals per game and seventh in the country in team goals-against average with a 0.53 GAA.
Alder's team will also have eight new additions when it opens preseason practice today –midfielders Richard Nyarko, Juan F. Niño and James Maddox, defenders Sam Duininck and Josh Mullins, forward Robert Cross and goalkeepers Sam Chapell and Scott McKinney. Liberty will begin its 2010 season Sept. 1 against the Bluefield Rams at Osborne Stadium. Match time is scheduled for 5 p.m.
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