LYNCHBURG, Va. – Entering the match with confidence, the VMI men’s soccer team was defeated by a 3-0 score to host Liberty in a midweek tilt Tuesday night at Osborne Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The Flames came out striking from the beginning, outshooting the Keydets by a 12-7 ratio in the first half en route to 19 total attempts. In the 33rd minute, Liberty’s Tresor Mbuyu took a pass from Trent Tarnstrom on the left side of the box and shot it into the far corner in what proved to be the game-winning goal with just over 10 minutes to go before the break.
“It was a hard-fought game from both teams,” said VMI head coach Michael Bonelli. “We are proud of the effort from our players. They left it on the field and that is all we can ask. We had a number of chances, but just didn't capitalize tonight. Even though the result was not positive tonight I strongly believe we improved as a team and this match is going to help us down the road. You have to also credit Liberty - they made a few great plays in big moments, which was the biggest difference.”
Both teams slowed the pace in the second half as the Flames took just seven shots to VMI’s two, but Liberty managed to add two more scores in the 72nd and 76th minutes to secure the victory.
Although both teams were even in corner kicks with two apiece, the Flames were able to take effective shots with 10 on goal in comparison to zero for VMI. With two goals on the season, senior David Wright led the Keydets with four shots against Liberty while five others accounted for solo shots.
The Flames were paced by Mbuyu’s five shots while Kevin Mendoza, Carter Burris and Tarnstrom each logged three in the contest.
Liberty goalie James Knoebel was credited with the win in a complete game with zero saves while VMI keeper Jon Harrington picked up the loss despite six saves on the night.
The Keydets return to action Sunday with a game at Canisius. Kickoff is slated for a 1 p.m. start in Buffalo, New York.