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Liberty Downs Jacksonville 3-2 2 OT on Senior Day

October 20, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Downs Jacksonville 3-2 2 OT on Senior Day

Playing in his last regular season home game, senior midfielder Kevin Mendoza burst out of the midfield and buried his second goal of the evening to propel the Liberty Flames to a 3-2 2 OT victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins, Saturday on Senior Day at Osborne Stadium.

After falling behind 2-0, Liberty scored twice to knot the game in regulation, before Mendoza's winner in the Flames' final ASUN Conference regular season match during its maiden year in the league.

With the victory, Liberty clinches a spot in the ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Championship, moving to 2-3-1 in the ASUN and 7-6-1 overall. Jacksonville falls to 3-2 in conference and 3-11 overall.

Scoring Summary
56' – JACKSONVILLE – Reed Davis (unassisted)
67' – JACKSONVILLE – Reed Davis (unassisted)
68' – LIBERTY – Tresor Mbuyu (assisted by Kevin Mendoza)
75' – LIBERTY – Kevin Mendoza (assisted by Tresor Mbuyu and Jafeth Santiago)
103' – LIBERTY – Kevin Mendoza (assisted by Jafeth Santiago)

Turning Point
Holding a large shot advantage, yet trailing in the contest, Liberty struck for its first goal of the contest less than minute after Jacksonville had extended its lead to 2-0 during the 67th minute. Pressuring its attack, Liberty placed a crossing pass into the 18-yard box which deflected off a Dolphin defender and into the air. Mendoza headed the ball down at the feet of forward Tresor Mbuyu, who lifted into the back of the net, cutting the Flames deficit to 2-1 during the 68th minute.
Liberty then controlled play over the next several minutes, before tying the game during the 75th.

Key Stats & Notes

  • Liberty outshot Jacksonville, 26-13, and held a 7-3 advantage on corner kicks in the contest. In addition, the Flames put 14 shots on goal, while the Dolphins had five.
  • For the second consecutive game, Liberty midfielder Kevin Mendoza scored two goals and recorded an assist for five points. It is the fourth multi-goal game for the midfielder this season.
  • After the five-point night, Mendoza now leads the ASUN Conference with 29 points. He is also is tied with teammate Tresor Mbuyu with 12 goals.
  • Liberty is 5-0-1 in games in which Mendoza and Mbuyu score at least one goal.
  • Playing in his final regular season home game as a Flame, James Knoebel made three saves. Jacksonville goalkeeper Matt Levy recorded 10 in the contest. The Dolphins also had one team save.
  • Before the contest, seven seniors on Liberty's roster were honored. Along with Mendoza, Mbuyu and Knobel, defenders Nico Bellarde and Geovanny Murillo, midfielder Shaun Stocking and forward Chase Hovious were recognized. The seven will see their Liberty careers come to a close at season's end.
  • With the victory, Liberty has qualified for the ASUN Men's Soccer Championship in its first season in the conference. The ASUN Championship gets underway on Nov. 2 at a site yet to be determined.
  • The Flames have now had four contests go to overtime in 2018. Liberty is 2-1-1 in those matches.
  • Liberty finishes its regular season home schedule with a 4-2 record.

Up Next
Liberty will close out its 2018 regular season on Oct. 30. The Flames will visit Rock Hill, S.C., for a non-conference match against the Winthrop Eagles. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.