Lynchburg, Va. – The Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs struck for the contest’s lone goal early in the first half, edging the Liberty Flames, 1-0, Saturday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.
Bulldogs forward Marvin Mendy beat Liberty goalkeeper Jeremy Lee to a ball lofted in front of the Flames’ net and scored at 12:16 for a 1-0 advantage. Gardner-Webb then used solid defensive play to record the Big South win.
Liberty outshot Gardner-Webb, 10-6, and held a 12-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Flames goalkeeper Lee recorded two saves in the contest, while Bulldogs goalkeeper William Liles made two also.
Liberty drops to 1-2 in Big South Conference play and 5-6 overall. Gardner-Webb moves to 1-2 in conference and 2-9 overall.
The visiting Bulldogs fought off an early pressure from the Flames to open the first half. Over a span of three minutes, starting in the seventh, the Liberty attack garnered three corner kicks. However, Gardner-Webb did not allow any shot during the period to reach the goalkeeper.
In the 13th minute, forward Craig Swaby lofted the ball at the top of the box into its center in front of the goal. Mendy was able to get a foot on the ball, before Lee could control it, scoring his fourth marker of the year for a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the half saw neither team able to mount an attack, as both displayed solid defensive efforts. Liberty ended the first half with a 6-2 edge in shots.
The Flames opened the second half with shots by forward Kevin Mendoza and Kyle Carr during the 49th minute. Each attempt was easily handled by Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Liles.
Liberty followed with five consecutive corner kicks, but was not able to get a shot opportunity on any of them.
Pressing forward during the 85th minute, Mendoza came free for a shot at the top of the 18-yard box which hit the crossbar and rebounded over the net.
Gardner-Webb then held possession after a Liberty offside during the 86th minute to secure the win.
Liberty next travels to Conway, S.C., for a Big South contest at No. 4 ranked Coastal Carolina, Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.