WVU nets second half game-winner to advance to second round of Big East Tournament
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 23:11
Some say revenge is a dish best served cold.
On a cool, crisp night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium Wednesday, the West Virginia men's soccer team had a chance to avenge a 1-0 loss to South Florida Oct. 16 in its opening round matchup of the Big East Conference tournament.
The Mountaineers did exactly that, as they came out on top in a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Bulls in their first win in the Big East tournament since 2007.
"That was a really good South Florida team," said head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "They probably deserve a chance to move on to the NCAA Tournament."
With the win, WVU will now move on to play Louisville in a second round of the Big East Tournament Saturday.
Just as they had done in most games this season, WVU got off to a slow start in which goalkeeper Zach Johnson and the WVU defense struggled to contain USF.
The Mountaineers' first chance of the contest came, though, off of a corner kick in the first half.
The ball settled in the box in front of forward Shadow Sebele who was in a one-on-one matchup with a Bulls defender.
Sebele lofted a bicycle kick toward the mouth of the net, which was deflected, and then put home by forward Uwem Etuk for his first goal of the season with 27:41 remaining in the first half.
Both Sebele and forward Nick Claudio, who saw his most extensive action of the season in the important contest, tallied assists on the goal.
"It was a great goal, and he did a fantastic job of getting us going," LeBlanc said. "It was a little easier to play from a goal up than a goal down early in the match."
Etuk's goal came on the heels of a spectacular save by Johnson, in which he made a move to his right and then to the left as the ball deflected off of a WVU defender and came within inches of the goal.
"We know that Zach is a big player, and he always makes good saves," said forward Ray Gaddis. "He was just playing his role into the team concept and just saving us."
The Bulls, however, did strike before the end of the first half.
Off of a corner kick by defender Javed Mohammed, midfielder Bernardo Anor scored his sixth goal of the season to knot the game at 1-1.
"We did a really good job until they got the goal on the set piece," LeBlanc said. "We kind of lost the plot for about five to 10 minutes and then got it back."
Coming out in the second half of the contest, the Mountaineers struck quickly to put themselves ahead for good.
Defender Eric Schoenle scored his fifth goal of the season when he directed home a pass from defender Dan Hagey, who sent a corner kick from Sebele in Schoenle's direction.
"Shadow played a good ball to Hagey," Schoenle said. "Hagey flicked the ball past his defender, and it was an easy tap-in for me as the goalie was nowhere to be found."