Johnson City, Tenn. – The East Tennessee State Buccaneers edged Liberty, 1-0, halting the Flames’ three-game winning streak, Tuesday at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
ETSU scored the tightly contested match’s lone goal on a penalty kick during the 80th minute.
The Buccaneers held a 14-6 advantage in shots. However, the host team only held a 3-2 edge on shots that were on goal. Liberty held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Lee made two saves in the contest, while ETSU goalkeeper Jonny Sutherland recorded two saves also.
Liberty drops to 4-4 on the year. The contest was the last non-conference match of 2015 and the final outing of a three-game road swing for the Flames. Liberty finishes the road swing with a 2-1 record.
Winners of two straight contests, ETSU moves to 3-2-1 on the season.
The match was the first- ever meeting between the two teams on the pitch.
The first half went scoreless. The host Buccaneers outshot the Flames, 10-3. However, each team was only able to get one shot each on goal.
ETSU had four shots hit goal posts during the half. Two of the four came during a three-shot span during the 25-minute mark. The first two Bucs shots hit the post, before the final attempt was high.
Liberty’s best scoring opportunity of the half came during the 42nd minute. Midfielder Brady Mazzei fired a shot on net, forcing ETSU goalkeeper Jonny Sutherland to knock the attempt over the end line. The resulting corner kick was cleared by the Buccaneers.
Strong defensive play continued in the second half.
Liberty forward Sachem Wilson forced the only save by Sutherland in the half with a shot during the 66th minute.
A foul in the 18-yard box by a Flames defender resulted in a penalty kick for the Buccaneers during the 80th minute. Midfielder James Smith converted the kick for a 1-0 advantage and the game’s lone marker at 79:04.
Liberty looked for the equalizer over the final 10 minutes of the contest. The Flames received two corner kicks during the span, with forward Kevin Mendoza pushing a shot high during the 89th minute.
Liberty returns home to start Big South Conference play on Saturday. The Flames will host the Winthrop Eagles at Osborne Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.