Men’s Soccer Defeats the Bellarmine Knights in Their First Home Game

The Liberty men’s soccer team opened its home slate with a 2-0 win in its first conference game of the season against Bellarmine Sept. 10. 

Starting this game with a 1-1-1 record, the Flames came in ready and did what they needed to get the win.

After an uneventful first half, the Flames went into halftime tied at 0-0. With the new NCAA rules, there is no more overtime play, so if neither team had scored, then it would have ended in a tie. 

It wasn’t until late in the second period that the Flames offense would bring some action. With 7:04 left to go in the game, junior Seth Clark netted his second goal of the season, putting Liberty on the board at 1-0. Clark said postgame that he was happy with the team’s overall performance. 

“I think we executed the game plan from the start,” Clark said. “We kept the ball a lot. We had chances, and even when we weren’t scoring, we stuck to it and did what we needed to do. Happy with the result at the end.”

With less than six minutes remaining, sophomore Luke Eberle put one more on the board with his second goal of the season, assisted by Gabe Findley.

“I thought as a team we stuck to the principles that coach wanted us to stick to,” Eberle said. “We played well. We didn’t get frustrated with Bellarmine. They’re a tough team to play, but I think overall we stuck to what we wanted to do.”

The victory showcased the Flames’ ability to bounce back after dropping their previous game to UCLA 5-2. 

“One of the things we talk to our guys a lot about is you have to reset and go again, whether you win, lose or draw,” Findley said. “So, (a loss) definitely doesn’t affect my coaching style. In fact, it’s more important to have the guys reset and go when you win than when they lose. Everyone’s anxious to get that next game in when you lose, so I knew the guys would be ready for this game.” 

Liberty sophomore goalkeeper Blake Franzen had a solid night with three saves (two first period, one second period). The Flames had six fouls total, with three in each period. There’s a lot to look forward to this season, and Liberty is excited for the ride.

“I think winning the conference would be special but also just enjoying every day with the team,” Eberle said. “We have a great group of guys that want to be here, that want to play for the program, so that’s what I’m excited for.”

The Flames will take the field again at home for a non-conference game against Davidson on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. with a Ted Lasso theme night. The broadcast will air on ESPN+.

Bruss is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on Twitter

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