West Virginia looks for first win of spring season against Wake Forest after 0-2 start
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 03:04
West Virginia men’s soccer head coach Marlon LeBlanc wants to see more from his team this weekend.
So far, WVU is 0-2 in the spring season with losses to a pair of professional squads — the Columbus Crew and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Now, in their third game of the spring, the Mountaineers will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Atlantic Coast Conference foe Wake Forest.
The Saturday match, scheduled to start at 7 p.m., will serve as round one between the Demon Deacons and the Mountaineers, who will also square off in a nonconference match in fall.
"They are very possession-oriented, dynamic, explosive, and they have lots of top players," said West Virginia head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "They’re going to be an excellent team, but I think the whole purpose is to familiarize ourselves with what is going to be a pretty big road trip in the fall."
WVU will still be without a few of their key players, including senior midfielder Shadow Sebele and sophomore forward Andy Bevin, but could benefit from the return of senior forward Peabo Doue as early as this weekend.
The Germantown, Md., native was medically cleared to play last week and is eager to return to the field.
"I’ve been joking around with the guys because it’s been a while since I’ve played an actual game with them," Doue said. "I feel great; I don’t have any pain or anything like that. I just need a little more game fitness."
LeBlanc said he is in no rush to slide Doue back into the lineup, as his health for fall is the main concern.
The other concern for LeBlanc is not his team’s 0-2 record, but rather how some of his young players have mishandled their playing opportunities in early spring.
"We’ve got some guys who have three games left to really prove themselves," LeBlanc said. "I think we know who our ‘knowns’ are and where they stand, and some of the other guys are going to have to pick it up a bit if they want to be contributing members on what should be a pretty good team in the fall. Those guys have to be better, and top to bottom we need to be better, but in particular we need to get more out of some of those guys who are getting their first opportunity."
WVU’s lone returning captain, senior defender Eric Schoenle is a bit more understanding of the plight of the young Mountaineers.
"It’s been a learning experience for some of the younger guys," Schoenle said. "It’s good for them to get more experience just like I did freshman year. Hopefully, they’ll learn some valuable lessons from the spring games, and come next season, they’ll know exactly what to expect."
WVU and Wake Forest tied in Morgantown in spring 2011, and after this weekend, the Mountaineers will only have two matches against Slippery Rock and West Virginia Tech to prove their worth.