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Liberty Faces High Point for Big South Contest

October 7, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty defender Greg White

Liberty defender Greg White

The Liberty Flames men's soccer team (6-3-1, 2-1 Big South) hosts the High Point Panthers (7-2-1, 2-0 Big South) in a Big South Conference match-up, Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Osborne Stadium. The contest is part of Liberty's 2010 Homecoming festivities.

The contest will feature the top two scoring teams in the Big South. High Point leads the conference with a 2.40 goals per game average, while Liberty is second with a 2.20 goals per game average.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for Saturday's contest will be available on by clicking the live stats link on the men's soccer schedule/results page.

A Look at Liberty
Liberty will return to Big South play on Saturday having shut out its last two Big South Conference opponents. The Flames downed Winthrop on Sept. 25, 3-0, and defeated Coastal Carolina, 1-0, last Saturday in conference clashes.

Liberty saw its three-game win streak come to a halt on Tuesday, falling to the nation's No. 3 ranked team and 2009 NCAA National Champion Virginia, 2-1, in Charlottesville.

After a Cavalier goal in the fifth minute, the Flames knotted the contest in the 56th minute. A pass from forward Darren Amoo put Alex Verville one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and the midfielder made the most of the opportunity, burying a shot into the far right corner to knot the contest at 1-1. It was Verville's second goal of the season. Later, Virginia broke the tie on a penalty kick in the 81st minute.

Liberty will enter the weekend second in the Big South with a 2.20 goals scored per game average and is tied for the conference lead with 0.80 goals allowed per game.

The Flames are led by head coach Jeff Alder, who has posted a 93-72-16 record during his 10 years of leading his alma mater.

Darren Amoo leads Liberty and is second in the conference in goals (7) and points (17). The forward has tallied at least a point in each of his last four games. He also has three assists.

Midfielder Phillip Aseweh is third in the Big South in points. He has four goals and five assists for 13 points. The junior is currently tied for second in the conference in assists and tied for fourth in goals.

Six other Flames, Thad Taylor (3), Uriah Bentick (2), Timothy Bullock (2), Alex Verville (2), Juan F. Niño (1), and Richard Nyarko (1), have also netted goals this season. Taylor is tied for eighth in the Big South in goals, while Verville is tied for fifth in the conference with three assists.

Paul Gilbert has started all 10 games between the posts as the Liberty goalkeeper and is second in the conference with a 0.80 goals-against average and a .789 save percentage. Gilbert has recorded 30 saves in 901 minutes this season.

As a team, the Flames have posted four shutouts and have allowed eight goals this season.

All-Time Against High Point
Liberty and High Point will meet for the 25th time Saturday. The Flames lead the all-time series between the two teams, 12-8-4.

Last season after attempting to play in a rain storm the previous week, the Panthers defeated the Flames, 2-1, at Vert Stadium on Nov. 4. After Liberty midfielder Chris Phillips tied the contest in the 84th minute, High Point's Karo Okiomah scored the game-winner three minutes later for the Panther win.

The last time the two teams met in Lynchburg, Liberty defeated High Point, 3-1, on Sept. 30, 2008. In the game, current Flames midfielder Alex Verville scored his first collegiate goal, and goalkeeper Paul Gilbert recorded five saves.

A Look at High Point
The High Point Panthers come into Saturday's contest with a four-game winning streak after a 3-1 win at Winthrop, Wednesday.

The Panthers, selected to win the conference in the 2010 preseason poll, lead the Big South in scoring with 24 goals and a 2.40 goals per game average. During their current win streak, High Point has scored three or more goals in each contest.

High Point is led by 2009 Big South Coach of the Year Dustin Fonder, who has led the Panthers to a 30-31-7 record in four seasons.

Forward Karo Okiomah leads High Point and the Big South Conference in both goals (8) and points (18). Fellow forward Scott Rojo paces the conference in assists with eight and is second on the Panthers with 12 points. Midfielders Shawn Sloan and Fejiro Okiomah, Karo's brother, round out Panthers with double-digit point totals, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Michael Chesler is in his third season as the High Point goalkeeper. In 10 games this season, the junior has posted a 0.98 goals-against average and four shutouts. Chesler has made 25 saves for a .715 save percentage on the year.

Against the Big South
Liberty is 80-46-11 all-time in Big South action. The Flames have posted a .500 or better conference ledger in 17 out of their 19 seasons in the Big South. In 2007, Liberty won its lone Big South Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

Home Sweet Home
The Flames are 2-0 at home in 2010 after their 1-0 victory over Coastal Carolina last Saturday. The victory moved Liberty's home unbeaten streak to 13 straight games. The Flames have not lost at home since Oct. 3, 2008, when they were edged by Coastal Carolina, 2-1, in overtime.

During the span, Liberty is 11-0-2 at Osborne Stadium. The Flames went unbeaten on their home field last season, posting an 8-0-1 mark and outscoring their opponents, 30-1. Liberty has not allowed a goal on its home field since Sept. 1, 2009, a streak which extends over the Flames' last nine home contests.

Starting with last Saturday's contest, Liberty will enjoy some "home cooking" in October, as the Flames will play six of their final eight scheduled matches of 2010 at Osborne Stadium.

On the Road
The Flames are 3-3-1 on the road and 1-0-1 on neutral fields this season. Liberty has two road contests left after playing eight of its last nine games away from Osborne Stadium.

The Flames played seven straight games away from Osborne Stadium, before last Saturday's game 1-0 victory over Coastal Carolina. Seven straight road games ties the most consecutive games away from Lynchburg for the Flames in program history.

The last time Liberty had seven consecutive road games on its schedule was in 1986. That year, head coach Bill Bell's team finished its campaign with seven straight road tilts.

A Steadying Influence
Midfielder Chris Phillips and defender Greg White have both become fixtures in the Liberty line-up. Phillips, a redshirt junior, has started 34 consecutive games for the Flames. Meanwhile, White, a redshirt sophomore, has started every game in his Liberty career and reached consecutive start No. 30, Tuesday at Virginia.

Last season, the two Flames were the only Liberty players to start all 20 Liberty games. Phillips earned second team All-Big South honors in 2009. White was named to the 2009 Big South All-Tournament team.

National Notes
In the most recent NCAA Statistical Report, compiled through games of Oct. 2, the Flames are tied for 10th in the country in total goals scored with 21. Liberty is also 15th in scoring offense, averaging 2.33 goals per game. On the defensive side of things, the Flames are 22nd in the nation in team goals-against average, with a 0.65 GAA.

Individually, forward Darren Amoo and midfielder Phillip Aseweh are among the national Top 30 in two point production categories. Amoo enters the week ranked 12th in the country with a 1.78 points per game average, while Aseweh is 37th in the same listing with a 1.44 points per game average. Amoo also is tied for sixth nationally with 16 total points and Aseweh is tied for 30th with 13 points.

A Look Ahead
Liberty will welcome the No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels to Osborne Stadium Tuesday evening for a non-conference showdown. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start.