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Liberty Squares off with Appalachian State

September 14, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Midfielder Alex Verville

Midfielder Alex Verville

The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will travel to Boone, N.C., Wednesday, for a non-conference match against the Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1-2). Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Wednesday's contest will be available on by clicking the live stats link on the men's soccer schedule/results page. The live stats will be provided courtesy of the Appalachian State Athletic Media Relations Office.

A Look at Liberty
After tying with Marshall and defeating St. Francis (N.Y.) this past weekend at the Sculley Memorial Tournament, the Liberty Flames have opened 2010 with a 3-0-1 mark.

Led by the head coach Jeff Alder (90-69-16, 10th season), Liberty is unbeaten through its first four games of a season for the first time since 1997.

Last weekend, the Flames went 1-0-1 at the Sculley Memorial Tournament in Lexington, Va. After a goal by Marshall in the 67th minute, Liberty trailed for the first time this season, Friday. However, forward Darren Amoo was able to find the equalizer in the 83rd minute off a crossing pass by midfielder Alex Verville. The forward's goal was his third of the year and knotted the game at 1-1.

Neither team could find the game-winner in overtime, as the Flames recorded their first tie of 2010. Goalkeeper Paul Gilbert made a season-high six saves over 110 minutes in the contest.

Sunday, Uriah Bentick and Thad Taylor each scored first half goals in Liberty's 3-1 victory over St. Francis (N.Y.). Both Bentick's and Taylor's goals came after the Flames were given free kicks due to Terrier fouls. Bentick scored for the second time this season, while Taylor netted his third goal of the year for the Flames. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh put the game out of reach in the second half with his second goal of the year.

Liberty has received balanced scoring so far in 2010, with six different players netting goals through the first four games. Taylor and Amoo have scored three goals each to lead the Flames, while Amoo (3 g-1a) and Aseweh (2g-3a) pace the Flames with seven points each.

Gilbert enters the week with a stellar 0.50 goals-against average over four games in the Liberty goal. The redshirt junior has 11 saves.

All-Time Against Appalachian State
Wednesday's match between the Flames and Mountaineers will be the 14th meeting between the two schools on the soccer field. The all-time series is knotted at 6-6-1.

Last season, in their first meeting since 2005, Liberty shut out Appalachian State, 2-0, at Osborne Stadium on Sept. 7. Darren Amoo netted both goals in the first half in the victory. In the 12th minute, Amoo put back the rebound of a shot by forward Timothy Bullock for a 1-0 lead, and later scored unassisted in the 34th minute.

A Look at Appalachian State
The Mountaineers will enter their first home game of 2010, with a 1-1-2 mark. This past weekend, Appalachian State played Cincinnati to a 0-0 tie, Friday, before falling to No. 11 Louisville, 5-0, Sunday.
Led by Head Coach Shaun Pendleton (19-17-3, Third Year), the Mountaineers return 20 letterwinners from last season's 8-8-1 team, including junior goalkeeper Collin Taylor.

In his third year as the Mountaineers' starter in goal, Taylor had posted two shutouts and had not allowed a goal until Sunday's 5-0 loss at Louisville. The junior, who posted a 1.31 goals-against average in 2009, has a 1.27 goals-against average so far through four starts in 2010.

Junior midfielders Sean Dreybus, Chad Dalton and Ryan Duffy have each scored a goal for Appalachian State this season.

Off to a Good Start
For the first time since 1997, the Flames are unbeaten through their first four games of the year. This season, Liberty has begun its season, 3-0-1.

The Flames opened the 1997 season with eight consecutive wins, en route to a 13-4 overall record under Bill Bell.

Trio Named to All-Tournament Team
Forward Darren Amoo, goalkeeper Paul Gilbert and defender Uriah Bentick were selected to the 2010 Sculley Memorial All-Tournament team. Amoo scored a goal in Liberty's tie with Marshall, Friday, while Bentick netted a goal and had an assist in the Flames' 3-1 win over St. Francis. Gilbert provided Liberty with strong efforts in goal, recording a season-high six saves in Friday's game and four saves, Sunday.

Balancing Act Continues
The 2009 Flames showed strong play both defensively and offensively, finishing the year, 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.

So far this season, Jeff Alder's team has exhibiting the same balance. In the first NCAA Statistical Report of the season, the Flames rank eighth nationally in scoring offense, averaging three goals per game. On the defensive side of things, Liberty ranks 19th among Division I soccer programs, with a 0.47 goals-against average.

Alder Reaches 90 Wins
With Liberty's 3-1 victory over St. Francis (N.Y.), Sunday, Head Coach Jeff Alder reached career win No. 90. In his 10th season as the Flames head coach, Alder has posted a 90-69-16 career mark.
Alder's teams have averaged nearly 10 victories per season (9.67) over the Liberty graduate's first nine seasons. In addition, he is the only coach to lead the Flames to a Big South Championship and a NCAA Tournament berth, doing so in 2007.

In the past three seasons, Liberty has recorded 10 or more victories each year, the longest consecutive double-digit season win total streak in the coach's tenure.

A Look Ahead
The Flames will open Big South Conference play, by traveling to Radford, Va., Saturday for a match with the Radford Highlanders. The Highlanders are under the direction of new coach Marc Reeves. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.