Despite scoring a goal early in the second half to trim its deficit to 2-1, Liberty could not overcome an early Campbell lead, falling to the Camels, 3-1, Tuesday night in a Big South men's soccer contest at Eakes Athletic Complex.
Liberty drops to 2-4-1 in conference play and 7-6-1 overall. Campbell moves to 4-2 in Big South action and 8-6-2 overall.
The first shot of the contest came in the fourth minute of play. Liberty forward Darren Amoo came free at the top right corner of the 18-yard box for a shot, ripping a shot wide past the far post.
In the 10th minute, Campbell forward Jhuvon Francis fired a shot from 25 yards out high over the net.
The host Camels got on the scoreboard in the 16th minute. Midfielder Mitchell Cardenas took a pass on the left side of the field and lined a shot from 30 yards out into the far right corner of the net for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for the host Camels.
After a shot by Francis was easily stopped by Liberty goalkeeper Scott Sutarik during the 17th minute, Campbell extended its advantage in the next minute. Cardenas lofted a pass into the center of the box, where Francis headed it in for his third goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.
Liberty forward Timothy Bullock threaded a pass to the top of the penalty area in the 21st minute, finding Amoo for a shot. The forward pushed an attempt between two Camel defenders, forcing Campbell goalkeeper Ethan Hall to make a save.
In the 30th minute, Flames midfielder Juan F. Niño moved past two Camel defenders and fired a shot from the top right corner of the box, narrowly missing the far post.
Campbell's Francis came free in front of the Liberty net for a shot, but Sutarik knocked the attempt down and corralled the loose ball for the save in the 41st minute.
The host Camels held a 7-6 edge in shots in the opening half, while Liberty had the only corner kick of the period.
The Flames quickly cut their disadvantage to 2-1, less than two minutes into the second half. Defender Uriah Bentick moved off the left side of the 18-yard box and sent a shot across the front of the net toward the far right post, finding the far upper corner of the goal for his third goal of the year.
Campbell worked midfielder Scooter Oliver into open space for a shot during the 52nd minute, lining an attempt from 15 yards out from the right side of the field. However, Sutarik was up to the task, stepping up and corralling the attempt for a save.
After clearing two Liberty corner kicks over the next 10 minutes, Cardenas took advantage of a miscue by the Flames defense during the 62nd minute to extend the Camel edge to 3-1.
The midfielder jumped on a turnover inside the Liberty box and scored his third goal of the season.
The Flames answered with a shot of their own a minute later off the restart. Midfielder Richard Nyarko blasted a shot from 20 yards out, forcing Hall to make a diving save to keep the Campbell two-goal edge.
In the 72nd minute, the Flames produced a shot opportunity for midfielder Phillip Aseweh. Off a corner kick, an attempt by the midfielder the left corner of the penalty area was stopped by Hall to prevent Liberty from trimming its deficit.
With Liberty pressing forward on the attack in the 85th minute, Campbell countered by stepping in front of a pass and setting up Jonathan Ray for a shot from 20 yards out, which Sutarik knocked down and controlled.
Over the closing minutes of the contest, the Camels took a defensive posture, keeping the Flames from organizing for a shot, thus sealing the 3-1 victory.
Campbell outshot Liberty, 17-10, in the contest. The Flames held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Sutarik made five saves for Liberty, while Hall recorded four saves for the host Camels.
The Flames travel to Asheville, N.C., for their final regular-season road match against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Saturday. Match time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.