In a thrilling overtime battle on Saturday night in Akron, the West Virginia men’s soccer team squeaked by with a huge 2-1 victory.
With 13 seconds remaining in regulation and West Virginia trailing in the match by one goal, senior midfielder and team leader Joey Piatczyc received a ball from Jorge Quintanilla. Piatczyc took the ball and scored at the center of the penalty box for a West Virginia tying goal.
The Mountaineers (9-5, 2-0 MAC) would never trail again on the night as Piatczyc scored yet again two minutes into overtime finding the corner of the net. Piatczyc veered his way through defenders and scored the ball unassisted to end the match.
“He was the best player on the pitch tonight, and we had quite a few good players on the day today. He did what he's supposed to do, he scored two goals. I'm happy for Joey, but I'm looking forward to the next game where he can hopefully get a couple more" said WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc following Piatczyc’s terrific performance.
The lone goal for the Zip’s (5-5-2, 1-0-1 MAC) was delivered in the 56th minute of the second half when junior forward Marcel Zajac toed a ball from the middle of the penalty box into the net. The assist was credited to redshirt junior midfielder Skye Harter as well as senior forward Ezana Kahsay.
West Virginia led the match in shots as well as shots on goal but never seemed to be able to get the ball in the net until the final minute. The Mountaineers held 15 shots and eight shots-on-goal while Akron held nine shots and four shots on goal on the night.
In the first 89 minutes, West Virginia had their fair share of opportunities to score but weren’t able to capitalize on any of them.
In the 18th minute of the first period, Mountaineer sophomore defenseman Kevin Morris made a solid attempt at the goal when Akron goalie Ben Lundt was able to make a great save and keep the ball from hitting the back of the net.
"We had to fight from behind tonight, we didn't want to have to play from behind, but I thought our soccer was excellent today, and our goals were just reward for the way we played" explained LeBlanc.
Both teams played a fairly sloppy match committing 23 combined penalties with 13 recorded from the Akron side and 8 from West Virginia. Akron also registered four offsides as opposed to West Virginia’s lone offside.
Sophomore defenseman Kevin Morris, junior midfielder Logan Lucas and Piatczyc all led the Mountaineers with three shots on the night. Piatczyc also led the team in shots on goal with three.
West Virginia goalkeeper, Steven Tekesky impressed again Saturday night totaling his season saved goals mark at 56 saves as well as ranking 16th nationally and first in the MAC.
The match also marks West Virginia’s seventh victory this season when the offense put two goals on the scoreboard. The most recent of those matches came in the MAC opener when the Mountaineers defeated Western Michigan on Oct. 6, 2-1.
West Virginia will now begin their final homestand of the season when the team takes on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m