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Flames to Square Off with VMI in Conference Play

November 1, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty defender Uriah Bentick

Liberty defender Uriah Bentick

The Liberty Flames men's soccer team (8-6-1, 3-3 Big South) will make the short trip over the Blue Ridge Mountains for a Big South Conference match with the VMI Keydets (2-10-2, 2-4 Big South), Tuesday at Patchin Field. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. The contest will be the last regular-season road match for the Flames.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats, presented by the VMI Athletic Media Relations Office, for Tuesday's contest will be available on by clicking the live stats link on the men's soccer schedule/results page.

A Look at Liberty
The Flames will enter Tuesday's match well rested, after a 10-day layoff. The last time Liberty took to the pitch on Oct. 22, it scored seven goals in a 7-0 victory over Southern Virginia at Osborne Stadium.

Forward Darren Amoo set a stadium record with four goals. Each of the redshirt sophomore's goals came during the first 29 minutes of the contest. Senior midfielder Thad Taylor, honored before the game on Senior Night, also scored as Liberty ran out to a 5-0 lead during the first 45 minutes of play.

Forward Travis Joseph added his first goal of the year and Timothy Bullock netted his third of the year in the second half of the Flames' victory.

Liberty will enter Tuesday's Big South contest with a 2.07 goals per game average and a 1.00 goals allowed per game average. The Flames have outscored their opponents, 31-15, so far this season.

Liberty is led by head coach Jeff Alder, who has posted a 95-75-16 record during his 10 years of guiding his alma mater. The Flames have averaged 10 wins per season during his tenure.

Amoo leads the Big South with 25 points. The forward has netted a conference-best 11 goals and had three assists. Midfielder Phillip Aseweh is second on the squad with 14 points. The midfielder has scored four goals and recorded six assists. The junior is currently tied for second in the conference in assists.

Seven other Flames have also netted goals this season. Taylor has scored four goals, while Uriah Bentick and Bullock have each scored three goals. Alex Verville and Juan F. Niño have netted two markers apiece. Midfielder Richard Nyarko and Joseph have added one goal apiece.

Paul Gilbert has started 14 of the 15 Liberty contests between the posts as the Flames goalkeeper this season. He has posted a 1.07 goals-against average and a .737 save percentage, so far in 2010. Gilbert has recorded 42 saves in 1,261 minutes this season.

All-Time Against VMI
Tuesday's meeting between the Flames and the Keydets will be their 18th meeting on the soccer field.
Liberty has dominated the matchup, holding a 15-1-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Flames have won all seven meetings since the Keydets joined the Big South in 2003.

Last season, Liberty defeated VMI, 2-0, at Osborne Stadium on Nov. 2. Darren Amoo scored on a crossing passing pass by Phillip Aseweh in the opening half, and Aseweh put the game out of reach in the second with a goal of his own in the victory.

In 2008, a goal in the closing minutes of the second overtime by Juan F. Niño gave the Flames a thrilling 3-2 win at VMI. Mike Gelatt and Chris Phillips also scored a goal for Liberty in the contest.

A Look at VMI
The VMI Keydets had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday at Big South leader High Point, 2-0. The defeat dropped VMI to 2-10-2 on the year and 2-4 in Big South play.
Under the direction of head coach Richie Rose, the Keydets have already won one more game in Big South play this season than in 2009, including a 3-0 win over Radford. VMI hosts Liberty, Tuesday and Presbyterian College, Saturday to finish out its regular season.

Entering Tuesday match, VMI is averaging 0.90 goals per game and has allowed 2.42 goals per game. The Keydets have been outscored by their opponents, 35-13, on the year.

Amir Shihata leads VMI with 11 points. The midfielder has scored a team-leading five goals and assisted on another this season. All five of Shihata's goals this season have come in conference contests. Fellow midfielder Brian Harding is next on the Keydets with 10 points. Harding is tied for third in the Big South with six assists and has netted two goals so far in 2010.

Brian Sowell has logged the bulk of the minutes in the VMI goal this season. Sowell has posted a 2.46 goals-against average and a .641 save percentage in over 1,209 minutes. He has also has three shutouts.
A Quick Look at the Big South Standings
With the final week of the regular season now here, seedings for the 2010 Big South Championship will be determined at week's end.

High Point, the preseason favorite, has already locked up the regular-season title and the top seed with an 8-0 record. Following the Panthers is Coastal Carolina with a 5-2-1 record and Radford with a 4-2-1 mark in Big South play. A win by Radford Friday at Gardner-Webb will necessitate a tiebreaker for the second seed between the Highlanders and Chanticleers.

Meanwhile, Gardner-Webb and Liberty are poised to move into third place with two wins this week. Gardner-Webb hosts Presbyterian College on Tuesday and as mentioned earlier, Radford on Friday night. Liberty visits VMI Tuesday and hosts UNC Asheville on Saturday. If the Bulldogs and Flames finish with identical conference records, Gardner-Webb would get the higher seed, due to their 2-0 win over Liberty on Oct. 19

At Home
The Flames are 3-3 with one game remaining at Osborne Stadium. Liberty will close out the 2010 regular season Saturday at home against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Game time is set for 11 a.m.
Liberty put together a 13-game home unbeaten span from Oct. 14, 2009 - Oct. 9, 2010. 2010 Big South regular-season champion High Point ended the streak with a 2-0 victory on Oct. 9.

On the Road
The Flames are 4-3 on the road and 1-0-1 on neutral fields this season, so far this season.

The Flames played seven straight games away from Osborne Stadium, before an Oct. 2 game against 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.

The Flames opened their string of road trips with a win at Longwood on Sept. 4 and closed it with a victory at Winthrop, posting a 4-2-1 record during the span. Five of the contests were true road games, while two were on a neutral field, VMI's Patchin Field, during the Sculley Memorial Tournament in Lexington, Va., Sept. 10-12. Liberty went 1-0-1 in its first visit to Patchin Field, tying Marshall and defeating St. Francis (N.Y.)

National Notes
Forward Darren Amoo is among the top 25 in several offensive categories nationally.

Amoo is sixth in the country in both points and total goals. The Ghana native has totaled 25 points and 11 goals to lead the Big South Conference this season.

The forward also ranks eighth in the nation with 0.79 goals per game and ninth in the nation with 1.79 points per game.

Moving Up on the Career Charts
Several Flames are climbing the Liberty career records list. Leading the way is forward Darren Amoo whose Osborne Stadium record of four goals in a game in his last outing on Oct. 22 pushed him into seventh place on the Liberty goals list. Amoo has scored 29 goals in his career and is one goal shy of tying Marshall Worthington (1983-86) and Craig Bell (1979-81) for sixth all-time.

In addition, Amoo has moved into the Liberty top 10 in points. The forward has 66 career points, tying him with Bell and Worthington for ninth on the points list.

Joining Amoo is goalkeeper Paul Gilbert, whose 13 shutouts entering Tuesday's contest tie him for fourth with current Liberty graduate assistant A.J. Madero on the program's shutout list. In addition, Gilbert sits fifth on Liberty's career goals-against average list with a 1.25 GAA. The redshirt junior is also eighth all-time with 138 career saves, two shy of joining Kevin Mahan, who played goal for the Flames from 2002-06, in seventh place.

Meanwhile, with 14 assists, junior midfielder Juan F. Nino is one shy from breaking into the top 10 of Liberty's career list. With one assist, Nino will join Adrian Bumbut (2004-07) for 10th position on the list with 15.

A Look Ahead
Liberty will complete its 2010 regular season Saturday. The Flames will host UNC Asheville in a Big South match-up at Osborne Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m.