No. 9 WVU falls to No. 1 UNC, No. 19 Wake Forest
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 02:09
It’s never easy beating two ranked opponents on the road in the same weekend. That was the task for the No. 9 West Virginia men’s soccer team as it faced No. 1 North Carolina and No. 19 Wake Forest this weekend.
Friday night the Mountaineers dropped the first contest to the Tar Heels 1-0 at Fetzer Field.
Each team had five shots total and two shots on goal, but West Virginia had the corner kick advantage 2-1.
"From our perspective we played very well for long shifts at a time and played far better than we did last weekend," said head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "We certainly didn’t deserve to lose this one, but that is soccer."
The smallest of opportunities can seal the deal in the sport of soccer. UNC got its only goal from Martin Murphy in the 58th minute of play.
WVU defender Peabo Doue had the first chance for the Mountaineers early on in the match. His header off a free kick from midfielder Shadow Sebele ended up going wide right of the goal.
Other opportunities came for freshman forward Ryan Cain and senior midfielder Travis Pittman. Cain had a golden opportunity in the 36th minute, but UNC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin got the save.
"It’s unfortunate that we have to walk off the field on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but that’s soccer sometimes," LeBlanc said. "They got one sniff at the goal and got it in."
It was a promising result as the Mountaineers fell to the top-ranked team in the country by one goal. West Virginia had opportunities to win, but they would need to rebound against a resilient Demon Deacons team Sunday night.
Following nasty weather and a two-hour rain delay, WVU fell in a 1-0 contest to Wake Forest at Spry Stadium.
A turning point of the game came when freshman defender Francio Henry picked up a yellow card and a red card within six minutes. This caused him to be ejected from the match and the Mountaineers to be a man down for the final 69 minutes of play.
"I’m very proud of my team," said LeBlanc following the match. "We play awfully well and awfully hard, especially with the fact that we had to play a man down from very early on. We didn’t get a fair shake at this game today, and that part is disappointing.
"Take nothing away from Wake Forest, I think they are an excellent team, but with 10 men we certainly proved to be the aggressor in this game."
The game-winning goal occurred in the 72nd minute of play. Lucas Gimenez sent a cross that connected with Sam Fink’s header for the score.
The Demon Deacons won the shots battle 9-6 and the corner kick advantage 5-3. Both teams had a fair share of opportunities, but Wake Forest was able to capitalize for the win.
Senior midfielder Shadow Sebele led West Virginia with three shots on the night. Both teams played with resilience with shot opportunities off free kicks, but Wake Forest was able to make the lone goal Sunday night.
Perhaps it was due to having an extra man, but the Demon Deacons’ pressure seemed to be too much to handle at times.
With the two losses this past weekend, the Mountaineers fall to 2-2-0 on the season.
West Virginia must bounce back quickly as it travels to Penn State for a Thursday night showdown.