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-   -   MSOC Drops 1-0 Slugfest to Liberty (http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31200)

Chris R 09-10-2017 09:05 PM

MSOC Drops 1-0 Slugfest to Liberty
The Turf Monster tripped up the Flyers en route to a 1-0 defeat to the Liberty Flames on Sunday afternoon. A stumble in the back line freed up a Liberty forward for an unimpeded far post shot in the first half that proved to be the game-winner. Dayton falls to 2-2-1 while Liberty improves to 3-1-1.

A sun-drenched afternoon with mild temps provided the perfect backdrop to the back-end of a Sunday twin-bill as part of the Dayton Flyer Classic in-season tournament at Baujan Field. From the opening whistle, Dayton and Liberty wasted no time getting to know one another -- it was a slugfest from start to finish.

The run of play flowed back and forth over the first 20 minutes of the first half as each side took turns pushing players forward and trying to find gaps in the opposing back lines. Early on it was apparent that defense would rule the day as clean scoring chances were few and far between. The match quickly turned into a game of half-chances and ambitious attempts inside the goal boxes -- often from long-ball service near the touch lines or scrums inside the six-yard box. The defenses continued to clear away the most dangerous balls however and were helped in part by excellent goalkeeping. Flyer GK Federico Barrios came up huge on a couple shots directly on goal that denied Liberty a chance to take the early lead. Conversely, UD had their own chances in the Flame defensive third. Numerous crosses from the corner flags, set pieces, and broken plays allowed the Flyers to get into dangerous spots, but they fell a touch or pass short from hitting paydirt.

The physical play resulted in many fouls and yellow cards throughout the first half. Most of the players that hit the turf sprung back up to their feet, with the exception of Flyer MF/F James Haupt who got tangled up in a nasty collision midway through the first half. He left the game with a lower leg injury, found some crutches, and never returned.

Without one of their key players, the Flyers never took the opportunity to feel sorry for themselves. They kept battling and at times looked like the more capable side. Bad luck struck UD in the 32nd minute however when Liberty passed a ball to the left side of the goal box and the Flyer defender lost his footing and fell down. The stumble left the Liberty attacking player alone to receive the ball and go far post with the relatively easy put-away to give the Flames a 1-0 advantage.

Dayton had several more chances inside the box to tie the score, but the first half ended with Liberty maintaining the 1-0 lead. The Flyers out-shot the Flames 12-6, including a 4-0 edge in corner kicks.

The second half was a repeat of the first 45 minutes as both sides hammered one another with hard tackles, physical 50/50 challenges, and quick transition play that forced the opposing defenses to keep their shape and turn away dangerous scoring chances. No matter how many balls were played into the goal boxes, neither side could capitalize. The Flyers had several point-blank scrums directly in front of the Flame goal mouth, but the necessary toe-poke was always a blink late. Later in the second half, Dayton nailed the post on a shot from distance and just missed on a couple quality header opportunities.

Liberty had the clock on their side in the second half and did their best to stall during stoppages to steal time away from the match. While the referee stopped the clock at times, it seemed to reset the run of play on just enough occasions to force the Flyers to start their buildup from the back line again. That took more organization and additional time as well. Late in the match, UD was forced to play long balls up field to counter the dwindling clock.

To their credit, the Flames remained organized in their goal box and refused to allow a ball into the net. Dayton had its opportunities and many would ordinarily be good enough to yield a goal on most game days. Nevertheless, Liberty managed to hold the Flyers off through 90 minutes and leave town with the victory.

Second half stats were all Dayton as shots were 14-3 and corner kicks 3-1. The Flyers had trouble keeping shots on frame however. Despite out-shooting Liberty 25-10, the Flames prevailed with a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. That was more or less the match story line as UD did well to create their scoring opportunities but lacked the finishing prowess to make the most of their chances. In some cases it was sloppy focus in the offensive third, but the Flames made life difficult and deserve equal credit.

Barrios finished with six saves for the Flyers and while he wasn't asked to do a tremendous amount because of solid play by David Llianes, Lance Gaspar, and Kyran McGhan-George, most of his saves were high-quality turnaways that kept Dayton in the game. With 20 fouls and five yellow cards, it was a choppy and chippy game to watch -- though by the last 10 minutes of the match the Academy ran out of Oscar statues. Dillon Nino did well to attack upfield and along with 6-7 Thor Helgason, was a constant target forward inside the Liberty goal box.

UD returns to action on Wednesday Sept. 13th when they travel to Northern Kentucky for a 7pm match.

Pics from the match available on Twitter and Instagram @UDPride.

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