LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Liberty Flames and High Point Panthers played to a 1-1, two overtime tie, Wednesday afternoon at Osborne Stadium.
Flames forward Tresor Mbuyu scored his 10th goal of the season in the Big South Conference contest.
Liberty moves to 3-2-1 in Big South action and 6-7-2 overall. The Flames are unbeaten in their last three matches (2-0-1). High Point moves to 4-1-1 in conference and 10-3-3 overall.
The Flames used a solid defensive effort to hold the Panthers in check for the most of the contest. High Point entered the match leading the Big South and second in the nation in goals scored.
After fighting off three straight corner kicks by the Panthers during the fifth minute, Liberty took a 1-0 advantage at 5:15. On the counter attack, forward Rigoberto Rojas pushed a long pass from midfield behind the High Point defense, putting Mbuyu one-on-one with Panthers goalkeeper Keegan Meyer. Mbuyu saw his first shot deflected by Meyer, but he pounced on the rebound and blasted a shot into the right corner of the goal for a Liberty lead.
Play then settled in the midfield until the final minutes of the first half. Liberty was able to work midfielder Brady Mazzei open for a shot during the 42nd minute off a corner kick, but his shot went wide.
High Point’s Nate Lee forced a save by Liberty goalkeeper James Knoebel with a shot attempt during the closing minute of the half.
The Panthers tied the contest during the 66th minute. Defender Johnny Fenwick scored off a corner kick to the far right post by Renato Punyed. Fenwick’s first goal of the year knotted the match at 1-1.
Moments later, a save by a High Point defender kept the contest tied. Off a corner kick during the 67th minute, Liberty’s Rojas sent a shot from the top left corner of the 18-yard box towards the near corner of the net, but a sliding clear by a Panthers defender near the goal line prevented the score.
Mbuyu also got free for a shot near the top of the box during the 81st minute, but Meyer was able to corral it for the save.
During the two 10-minute overtime periods, both teams were held in check as the match ended in a draw.
Shots in the contest were even at 11-11. High Point held a 10-6 advantage in corner kicks.
Knoebel made three saves for the Flames, while Meyer recorded five.
Liberty will host the Presbyterian Blue Hose in its final home match of the regular season, Saturday. Match time is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Osborne Stadium. Before the game, five Flames, who playing in their last regular season home game, will be honored as part of Senior Day ceremonies.