Asheville (3-10-3, 2-4-1 BSC) is in a three-way tie for seventh place in the league standings with both Liberty and High Point. Only the top eight teams get to go to the Big South Conference Tournament with VMI just behind the three teams with a 1-5-1 league mark. The Keydets one victory was against the Bulldogs earlier this year, 2-1. Needless to say, the Bulldogs-Flames battle is a key one on Saturday.
"We want to make the Big South Conference Tournament because we think we can do some damage once we get there," admitted Asheville head coach Matt Kern. "However, we have to get there first.
"We control our own destiny. We win our last two matches against Liberty and Presbyterian then we're in the tournament without worrying about anyone else," added Kern. "Both matches are at home, and we just need to get the job done."
The Bulldogs played once this week and fell at ACC power Duke, 3-0. Asheville played a league match last Saturday and fell at home to Campbell, 3-2 on a goal with 14.7 seconds remaining.
"The loss to Campbell last Saturday was tough to take," said Kern. "We hope to learn from that match and be better on Saturday."
Liberty is 7-6-1 on the season and owns some impressive non-conference victories. The Flames won six matches in a row at one point of the year, including a stunning 2-0 victory at Virginia.
"Like everyone in the Big South, Liberty has a solid team," commented Kern. "They are always well-coached and have great ability. They've had some bad luck in some conference matches but they present plenty of challenges for us on Saturday."
Asheville finishes up the season a week from Saturday (Nov. 5) vs. Presbyterian College at Greenwood Field starting at 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs have not beaten the Flames since a 2-1 overtime win in Lynchburg in 2002.
This is the fourth of five straight Saturday home games for the Bulldogs.
Seven of Asheville's 10 losses have come by one goal.
The Bulldogs have played six overtime matches this year.
Jake Hagedorn leads Asheville in goals scored with six and points with 13.