Goals by Adam Cristman and Nino Colaluca lifted the #2-ranked Virginia Cavaliers over the Liberty Flames, 2-0, Saturday night, in men's soccer action at Klockner Stadium.
Virginia put pressure on the Flames early in the first half as the Cavaliers out-shot the Flames, 10-4, in the first half.
Cristman scored the game's first goal at the 35:24 mark. Jeremy Barlow fired a shot that Liberty keeper Kevin Mahan (Sr., Waterford, Mich.) blocked out. Cristman gathered the loose ball and knocked it in for his eighth goal of the season putting Virginia ahead, 1-0. Barlow was credited with the assist.
The Cavaliers had several chances in the second half. After Liberty went down a man on a red card, Colaluca added Virginia's second goal in the 59th minute. Barlow sent a cross backside. Colaluca side-swiped a shot far post for his first goal of the season. Barlow earned his team-leading ninth assist.
Liberty tried to cut into the lead in the 60th minute. Burke came out of goal to deflect a shot. The Flame's Dan Garber (So., MF, Matthews) gathered the deflection and took a shot, forcing defender Matt Poole to make a team save for the Cavaliers to help preserve the shutout. For the game, the Cavaliers out-shot Liberty, 27-7 and held a 9-3 advantage on corner kicks.
Virginia keeper Ryan Burke finished with four saves, while Mahan stopped a season-high ten shots in the Liberty net.
With the win in its last non-conference game of the season, Virginia moves to 11-2-2 overall, while Liberty drops to 4-6-2.
"I am very proud, very proud of how our guys competed tonight." stated Flames head coach Jeff Alder. "One of the reasons why UVA is the #2 team in the country is they have a lot of guys that are dangerous, but our guys matched them man-for-man, play-for-play."
"Playing down a man was very difficult for us to sustain and then they got the second goal and were unable to finish," continued Alder. "You have to give their keeper credit. He made a bunch of big saves, especially on a breakaway we missed early in the game, when Adrian (Bumbut) got through the defense. Burke made a great save."
"Overall, I think there is a lot that we can build off of in this game and our guys need to keep their heads up going into Wednesday's game with VMI."
Liberty next returns to Big South Conference play as they host VMI on Wednesday afternoon in the final home match of the season. Before the match, the four seniors on the Flames squad will be honored as they play in their last match at Liberty Soccer Field. Match time is set for 5 p.m.