Men’s soccer wins big at home
In the dusk twilight light of a waning Friday evening, men’s soccer coach Jeff Alder told his men that this game would be won upon the backs of two principles, efficiency and consistency, and stressed goals, goals, goals.
Senior Thad Taylor and a dominant Liberty midfield provided the efficiency needed for a consistent barrage of redshirt sophomore Darren Amoo goals that propelled the Flames to a 7-0 victory over NAIA opponent Southern Virginia.
“We knew going into the game, we needed to find goals and find goals early,” Alder said.
It was important for Liberty to get on track early and maintain a consistent pace that was lacking in previous contests.
From the outset, Liberty controlled the tempo of the game with timely midfield passing. The Southern Virginia Knights were forced to chase the ball and allowed themselves to get out of position, a vulnerability Liberty took advantage of.
Liberty’s first shot attempt came just two minutes into the game on a ball chipped over the Knights backline. From there, Liberty’s attackers caught the smell of blood and unleashed their unrelenting besiegement.
Liberty rained in 27 total shots, 17 coming in the first half. Of the 27 shots taken, 12 shots were put on goal. In Liberty’s previous two contests, the ratios were less potent.
“I think we had 40-42 shots (against Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian) and only scored two goals and those ratios are not real good,” Alder said.
The Flames capitalized on their ample scoring opportunities Friday night with lethal shooting from Ghana native Amoo. Amoo scored a stadium-record four goals on six total shots.
“Here is one of the great goal scorers in the country and [Amoo has] missed some chances that he normally does not miss… so, for us, he needed to score,” Alder said.
In the 28th minute, junior Juan F. Nino sent a free kick into the box. Senior midfielder Chris Osborne laid off a pass at the top of the 18-yard box. Amoo stepped up and ripped a blistering shot into the upper 90. The stands erupted in accolades.
“(That shot) is going on everyone’s highlight reel, because that’s a shot, doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, nobody’s making that save. He needed that and we needed that,” Alder said.
Other goals in the second half came from a finishing run from Taylor, a Zack Clark ball headed past SVU keeper Ben May and finally Timothy Bullock putting one in on a pass from Kyle Breitmeyer.
“It was good to score some goals, because … we’ve been losing, and we’ve been losing 1-0, 2-0, so it was good to get up, get a goal early and it was good for guys to hit the back of the net,” Taylor said.
The Flames travel to Lexington to play against conference opponent VMI and then play their final home game Nov. 6 against UNC Asheville.
BROWN is the asst. sports editor.