No. 17 WVU travels to Western Michigan
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 07:09
In the second Mid-American Conference game in West Virginia men’s soccer history, the No. 17 Mountaineers travel to Western Michigan for a showdown Saturday.
The Broncos are 7-2-1 on the season after wins against quality opponents DePaul and Loyola. The two losses have come against Michigan State and Canisius.
Western Michigan has dominated the shots category this season, outshooting opponents 150-98. The Broncos are also leading in goals 19-7.
Leading Western Michigan will be Marco Lobo and Ryan Lemasters. Lobo has four goals and two assists, while Lemasters has two goals and five assists.
It’s safe to say that WVU may have a very difficult challenge in the Broncos.
With only two full days of rest, the Mountaineers will need to regroup quickly for their first road test since Penn State earlier this season.
"The important thing for us is to rest and recover," said head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "It’s going to be better for us to get on the road. You know, it’s nice to play games at home, but there’s also that comfort zone.
"It’ll be good for us to get back on the road and have a little bit of that edge back."
West Virginia will be on the road for the first time after a four-game homestand in which the Mountaineers won each game.
LeBlanc realizes the challenge of facing the Broncos and winning on their home field.
"They’re well-coached, and they’re physical," he said. "They are organized and a very solid team. They’re not going to beat themselves. For us, understanding that they’re not going to beat themselves, we need to be the aggressor. We’re going to go on the road and try to get after them."
While Western Michigan has a good record in the MAC, it still doesn’t get the attention it deserves, according to LeBlanc.
"The biggest thing for them is that people probably underestimate them," LeBlanc added. "We’re not going to underestimate them. We’re going to get after them and put pressure on them. If we do that and have the right mindset, I think we’ll be okay."
The Broncos will be the first team over .500 the Mountaineers have faced in the last three games. Subpar opponents in FAU and Iona were easy business for WVU.
In five out of seven wins, the Broncos were able to shutout the opponent. WVU has been an offensive powerhouse lately in shots and scoring goals, but the opponent will be a bit more difficult this time around.
The action gets underway from Kalamazoo, Mich., Saturday at noon.