Liberty Grinds Out 3-1 Win over Wofford
Published: September 25, 2017
The Liberty Flames used a balance offensive attack to power past the Wofford Terriers, 3-1, Saturday evening in a non-conference contest at Osborne Stadium.
Kevin Mendoza netted his third goal of the year, Bobby Bynum, his second, and Pepe Segarra, his first, for Liberty. With the three makers, the Flames, who entered the evening ranked 11th in the nation in scoring offense, up their scoring averaging to 2.43 goals per game.
Liberty moves to 4-2-1 on the year and 3-1 at Osborne Stadium. Wofford drops to 0-8.
The visiting Terriers netted the match’s first goal off a counter attack during the 22nd minute. Quickly moving the ball forward out of the midfield, Lucas Altman sent a ball past the Liberty line of defense and into the top right of the box. Midfielder Austin Tuggle came free and lined his first goal of the year into the far lower corner for a 1-0 Wofford edge.
Liberty knotted the match seven minutes later. After forward Tresor Mbuyu was pulled down in the 18-yard box for a foul, Mendoza buried the ensuing penalty kick, tying the score at 1-1 at 28:24.
The visiting Terriers went a man down during the 29th minute on a red card and the Flames immediately took advantage. During the 31st minute of play, Mbuyu flipped a pass into the middle of the field by midfielder Shaun Stocker to the left sideline for Segarra. The midfielder ripped a shot into the upper left from 30 yards out for a 2-1 lead.
Wofford once again used the counter attack for a shot attempt during the 36th minute. Kyle Nelson broke into open space in the box and tried to chip the loose ball past Flames’ goalkeeper James Knoebel. The Liberty keeper smothered the ball in chest and to the ground for the save.
The half closed with Liberty on the attack. Midfielder Alex Dominguez pushed a shot on net during the 39th minute and later, the Flames garnered two corner kicks during the 43rd minute.
The early minutes of the second half saw shot attempts by both teams held to a minimum. With the Flames holding possession, the Terriers packed the box on defense, clogging both the passing and shooting lanes.
Wofford did force a save by Liberty’s Dominguez as a shot got past Knoebel during the 52nd minute. But, Dominguez was right behind the keeper and kicked the low shot out of the goal area to prevent a score.
The Liberty attack began to find openings for quality shot attempts after the 60th minute mark, and cashed in on its fourth shot of the half during the 74th minute. From the right side of the field, Dominguez lofted a crossing pass to the far post. There, Bynum ran on it and headed past the Terrier goalkeeper for what proved to be the final score of 3-1.
Wofford moved several attackers forward, looking for a goal to cut into its deficit during the final 10 minutes of play. But, the Terriers were only able to attempt one shot, which was blocked at the top of the 18-yard box by a Liberty defender.
Liberty outshot Wofford, 11-9. The Terriers held the edge in corner kicks, 7-5.
Knoebel finished the evening with three saves, while Wofford goalkeeper Matt Reynolds made three also.
The Flames will next open Big South Conference play on Tuesday. Liberty will host the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Osborne Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.