Mountaineers play to 0-0 tie vs. Penn St.
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 06:09
Hoping to bounce back from tough losses against No. 1 UNC and No. 15 Wake Forest, the No. 22 West Virginia men’s soccer team got back on the road Thursday night to take on Penn State.
Since head coach Marlon LeBlanc took control of the Mountaineers, the program has gone 2-0-1 against Penn State. In 2006, WVU won 2-1. In 2007, the Mountaineers pulled out a 1-0 shutout victory. The overall series is in Penn State’s favor 18-6-2.
The two teams ended in a tie after going the distance in a double-overtime thriller. In front of 728 in attendance, WVU and Penn State seemed to be too evenly matched for a win in State College, Pa.
WVU goalkeeper Pat Eavenson had two saves on the night. Seniors Travis Pittman and Shadow Sebele each had two shots in the match. Freshman Andy Bevin and junior Craig Stephens also recorded two shots.
In a match that lasted more than two hours, both teams were even in the shot department with 13 each. The Mountaineers won the shots on goal category 4-2. West Virginia also won the corner kick battle 7-3.
Both teams were very physical throughout the affair, with the Nittany Lions having 13 fouls. WVU only had one fewer with 12. Two yellow cards were given to West Virginia, while Penn State also received one Thursday night.
Coming into Penn State, Eavenson had a 0.75 goals against average in four starts.
WVU continued its struggle with not being able to capitalize on scoring opportunities. This was due to the Nittany Lions’ goalkeeper and a bit of unluckiness on the part of West Virginia.
"We really created a lot and right now we’re just in a bit of a scoring funk," LeBlanc said. "I think it would be more disappointing if we weren’t creating anything. Tonight we had a lot of opportunities, and their goalkeeper came up
with two big saves and got help from the crossbar once."
There were opportunities for both teams, but solid goalkeeping solidified the draw.
"We really pushed for the win, which opened us up a little on the counter, and we dodged some bullets," LeBlanc said. "They’re a good team, but I thought we played very well and deserved at least a point on the road."
With the result, West Virginia goes to 2-2-1 on the season. The most positive result is coming back home Sunday.
WVU returns to Morgantown to face Oakland Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Golden Grizzlies will come into Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium with the intent to remain undefeated on the year.
Oakland is 3-0-0 after three home wins against Vermont, New Hampshire and Cleveland State.
More impressively, the Golden Grizzlies have not given up a goal on the season, as they has won two 1-0 shutouts over Vermont and Cleveland State. Oakland beat New Hampshire 3-0 to open up the season.
Now, Oakland looks to have the same success on the road, as the next three of four games will be on the road.
Leading the Golden Grizzlies will be junior midfielder Miche’le Lipari. Lipari scored two goals in the season opener over New Hampshire. The goals were 38 seconds apart.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Scott Messer has been perfect on the season – as he hasn’t given up a goal so far. Oakland has outshot its opponents in two out of the three games this season.