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Defending Champion Flames Begin Big South Slate at Longwood

August 31, 2012  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty forward Austin Wyman

Liberty forward Austin Wyman

The defending Big South Champion Liberty Flames men's soccer team takes to road for the first time this season, Saturday.  The Flames will make the short trip up Route 460 to Farmville, Va., for their first conference match against league newcomer, the Longwood Lancers.  The contest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Longwood Athletics Complex. The match is the first of four straight contests the Flames will play away from Lynchburg. 

How to Follow the Flames
Live Stats will be able for Saturday evening's contest via by clicking the live stats link under men's soccer in the schedule bar on the main page. Live stats are provided by the courtesy of the Longwood Media Relations office.

A Look at Liberty
Liberty began its 38th year of men's soccer by falling to the N.C. State Wolfpack, 2-0, last Friday at Osborne Stadium.
Head Coach Jeff Alder has led the Flames to a 108-80-19 record during his 12 seasons, capturing his 100th victory in a 2-0 win at No. 10 Virginia last season.

Picked to finish in fourth place in this year's Big South Preseason Poll, Liberty opens the year looking to replace five players from its 2011 Big South title team. The Flames posted an 11-6-3 record, en route to their second conference crown and fifth consecutive season with a double-digit win total.

In their season-opening contest against N.C. State, the Flames had four starters from 2011's Championship team in their lineup - Sam Duininck, Greg White, Uriah Bentick, a two-time Big South first team and all-region team defender, and Richard Nyarko. The group helped Liberty lead the Big South Conference in fewest goals allowed (0.95 per game) and shutouts (9) last season.

Goalkeeper Sam Chappell garnered the first start of his Liberty career and played all 90 minutes of last Friday's contest.  The redshirt sophomore made three saves.

All-Time Against Longwood
Saturday night will be the 20th meeting between the Flames and the Lancers on the soccer pitch, but the first as Big South Conference opponents. Liberty leads the overall series, 13-3-3.

The two squads have met during each of the past six seasons, with the Flames holding a 4-0-2 mark in those matches.

Last season, Liberty defeated Longwood, 3-1, at Osborne Stadium on Aug. 30.  Darren Amoo scored two goals and Timothy Bullock netted the other for Liberty.

A Look at Longwood
Saturday's contest against the Flames will be Longwood's home opener. Just like the Flames, the Lancers, 0-2, enter the match looking for their first victory of 2012. 

Longwood dropped two Big South Conference matches during its first weekend of action.  The Lancers fell at Coastal Carolina, 4-0, and lost to Presbyterian College, 2-1, in double overtime.

Newcomer Phillip Van Berkom scored the Lancers' lone goal of the year at Presbyterian this past Monday. Longwood returns four starters to its line-up from a year ago.

Goalkeeper Carl Carpenter has seen the bulk of the action in the Lancer goal this season, starting and playing the entire match at PC. Carpenter has logged over 150 minutes this season, allowing four goals for a 2.33 goals-against average.

Head Coach Jon Atkinson is in his eighth year at Longwood. The Lancers have posted an overall record of 48-67-22 during his tenure.

Flames' Faithful Pack Osborne
The third largest crowd in Liberty program history attended the Flames' match-up with the N.C. State Wolfpack this past Friday.  A gathering of 1,783 fans were in attendance for the contest.  It was the largest crowd to attend a game at Osborne Stadium since Oct. 12, 2010, when 1,875 fans saw No. 2 North Carolina defeat Liberty, 2-0.

Against the Big South
Saturday's contest is the first Big South match for the Flames of 2012. Last season, the Flames won their second Big South Championship with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb at Greene Harbison Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Liberty opens 2012 with an 87-78-11 record all-time in Big South play. The Flames have posted a .500 or better conference ledger in 19 out of their 21 seasons in the conference. 

Marathon Man
Defender and team captain Greg White, who was named to the 2011 Big South all-tournament team, has started every game during his time in a Liberty uniform.  With his start against N.C. State last Friday, the redshirt senior has notched 60 consecutive starting assignments for the Flames.

White has been a regular starter in each game during the past three seasons (2009-11), with his streak starting on Sept. 1, 2009 in a 10-1 Liberty victory over Concord. Last season, he played every minute in each of Liberty's contests for the Flames.

A Look Ahead
Liberty will participate in the 2012 Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament hosted by VMI, next Friday and Sunday in Lexington, Va. The Flames will play the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Friday at VMI's Patchin Field.  Sunday, Liberty will face the George Washington Colonials at 12:30 p.m.