Flames Fall on Last Minute Goal

October 3, 2016

      LYNCHBURG, Va. – The visiting UNC Asheville Bulldogs broke a tie contest with a goal with less than one minute remaining, edging the Liberty Flames, Saturday afternoon in Big South Conference men’s soccer at Osborne Stadium.

      After the Flames had knotted the match at 3-3 during the 87 minute, the Bulldogs struck for the game-winner at 89:30. Forward Zach Joens picked up a loose ball after an Asheville corner kick and lofted it towards the near left post. Midfielder Andrew Lawrence headed the ball in for what proved to be the final score of 4-3.

      Martin Agredo, Tresor Mbuyu and Rigo Rojas each netted a goal for the Flames in the contest.

      Liberty drops to 1-1 in Big South play and 4-5-1 overall. Asheville remains unbeaten in conference with a 2-0 mark and moves to 3-8 overall.

      The Flames, who have allowed only one goal in the first half this season, jumped out to a 1-0 advantage at 22:11 of the opening period. Mbuyu took control of a loose ball at midfield and lifted a pass ahead over the Bulldogs’ line of defense and into open area in the attacking zone. Agredo beat all UNC Asheville defenders to the ball, coming one-on-one with the Bulldogs goalkeeper Chris Katt. The forward scored his third goal of the season.

      Later in the half, a foul just outside the left edge of 18-yard box gave Liberty a free kick during the 31st minute. Midfielder Kevin Mendoza sent the kick towards the top of the net, but Katt pulled the ball in and kept the visitors within one heading into halftime.

      After being outshot in the first 11-1, Asheville went on the attack early in the second half. The Bulldogs tied the contest during the 61st minute. Defender Grady Bradshaw lofted a ball from midfield into the box, where Joens ,the Big South’s leading scorer, headed it over Flames goalkeeper James Knoebel and in. The forward’s first goal of the contest and sixth of the year knotted the match at 1-1.

      Liberty took the advantage back moments later. Mbuyu flipped a pass to midfielder Jovanni Chavez at the top of the 18-yard box. After gaining the box, the forward received a return pass back from the midfielder and buried a shot into the lower left corner during the 63rd minute. Mbuyu’s team-leading sixth goal of the year gave the Flames a 2-1 lead.

      The Bulldogs tied the game again with a goal in the 69th minute. Elvis Boateng inserted a pass from the upper left corner of the box, finding the foot of midfielder Ben Chapel, who scored his second goal of the year to even the score at 2-2.

      Asheville took its first lead of the contest 11 minutes later. Standing at the far right post, Joens tipped in a crossing pass for his second goal of the match and a 3-2 advantage at 81:12.

      A relentless Flames’ attack found the equalizer during the 87th minute. Midfielder Pepe Sagarra’s deflected shot came back to Rojas in front of the net. The freshman scored his first goal of the year, tying the match for the third time on the afternoon at 3-3.

      During the final minute, the Bulldogs’ attack resulted in a corner kick. After the kick was cleared, Joens stepped in front of a loose ball and found Lawrence for the winner.

      Liberty held a 16-14 edge in shots and a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks in the contest.

      Knoebel made three saves for the Flames, while the Bulldogs’ Katt collected seven.

      Staying in conference, Liberty next travels to Radford, Va., for Big South match against the Radford Highlanders on Wednesday. Match time at Patrick D. Cupp Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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