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Liberty Downs NJIT for First ASUN Win

October 6, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Downs NJIT for First ASUN Win

The Liberty Flames recorded their first ever ASUN Conference win in program history, defeating the NJIT Highlanders 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.

ASUN scoring leader Tresor Mbuyu and midfielder Kevin Mendoza scored for the Flames in the victory. The Highlanders spoiled the shutout with a goal in the final minute of play.

Liberty moves to 1-1-1 in ASUN play and 5-4-1 overall. The Flames have won two in a row. NJIT falls to 0-3 in conference and 5-7 overall.

Scoring Summary
22' - LIBERTY - Kevin Mendoza (assisted by Matthew Zaczyk)
59' - LIBERTY - Tresor Mbuyu (assisted by Geovanny Murillo)
90' - NJIT - Pablo Jimenez (assisted by Rene White & Furkan Kokcu)

Turning Point
With the Flames leading 2-0 and the Highlanders pressing their attack, Liberty goalkeeper Brogan Engbers made two diving saves to preserve the Flames' two-goal edge during the middle of the second half.

The keeper first stopped a shot from the top left corner of the 18-yard box to keep NJIT scoreless during the 62nd minute and later smothered a shot right in front of him in the box during the 65th minute. After the Highlanders were able to hold possession in the Liberty end and screened by a defender, Engbers corralled a shot by Highlanders' leading scorer Rene White to uphold the shutout.

Key Stats & Notes

  • The meeting was the first ever between Liberty and NJIT in soccer and featured the top three scorers in the ASUN Conference in Liberty's Tresor Mbuyu and Kevin Mendoza and NJIT's Rene White.
  • Liberty held a 19-18 edge in shots and 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.
  • Mbuyu scored his ASUN-leading ninth goal of the season. He also leads the ASUN and the Flames with 21 points.
  • Mendoza has scored at least one goal in each of his last five games and is now tied for second in the ASUN with eight goals with NJIT's White. The senior is second in the conference with 19 points.
  • Liberty was on the verge of its second consecutive shutout until NJIT's Pablo Jimenez netted his third goal of the season with 29 second left.
  • Liberty goalkeeper Brogan Engbers recorded four saves, while NJIT's Victor Pujades had four. Liberty made two team saves in the contest.
  • With the contest, the Flames began a stretch where they will play three ASUN games in seven days. Liberty visit Florida Gulf Coast and Lipscomb during the stretch.

Up Next
Liberty travels to Ft. Myers, Fla., for its first ever meeting against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Tuesday. The ASUN Conference match is scheduled for 7 p.m.