LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite a first half goal by Liberty’s Bay Kurtz, the No. 25 Davidson Wildcats struck for two goals in the second half to defeat the host Flames, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.
Kurtz scored his second goal of the season during the 14th minute for Liberty’s lone goal of the afternoon. Entering the contest, the Flames had netted two or more goals in each of its previous five contests.
Liberty drops to 4-1-1 on the year. Davidson moves to 3-0-2. The meeting between the teams was the first in Lynchburg since 1999.
Kurtz gave the Flames an early 1-0 lead at the 13:06 mark. The freshman midfielder pounced on a loose ball, taking it away from a defender on the left side of the 18-yard box and placed a shot into the near corner for Liberty advantage.
Davidson’s best scoring chance in the opening half came during the 22nd minute. Midfielder Shane Macnamara pushed a header from the left post, which Liberty goalkeeper Scott Sutarik corralled for a save.
During the 29th minute, a shot by Kurtz from the top corner of the box with the Wildcats’ goalkeeper out of position had to be knocked down by a Davidson defender and cleared to prevent the Flames from extending their lead.
The visiting Wildcats tied the contest at 66:56 of the second half. Off a corner kick by John Pace, George Kaloudis poked the ball into the net for his first goal of the year, knotting the contest at 1-1. The kick deflected off several players in front of the net, before dropping at the foot of Kaloudis, who punched it in.
Liberty had an opportunity to break the tie during the 84th minute. A foul gave Liberty a free kick from 25 yards out near the left sideline. On the kick, midfielder Khalil Karl lofted the ball into the box towards the far post, finding the head of Flames’ defender Jamie Foxwell. But, his header sailed above the crossbar high.
Davidson netted the game-winner at 85:50. Forward Valeriy Sviderskiy stepped in front of a Flames’ clearing attempt on the right side of the 18-yard box and pushed a pass to fellow forward Max Pragnell who scored his third goal of the year into the top of the net for what proved to be the final score of 2-1.
Davidson held a slight, 12-11 advantage in shots and held the edge in corner kicks, 7-6.
Sutarik made a season-high six saves in the Liberty net, while Davidson keeper Matt Pacifici recorded two saves.
Liberty next hosts the Howard Bison at Osborne Stadium on Tuesday. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m.