The West Virginia men’s soccer team capped their regular season on a sour note Thursday evening while falling to Akron, 1-0.
On a freezing and misting night from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, it only took Akron one shot on goal to seal the game for the Zips.
The Mountaineers came out firing in the first period, getting off a pair of shots through the opening 12 minutes of action off the feet of Rodrigo Robles Grajera and Luke McCormick.
The closest West Virginia was to netting a goal in the opening period was when Tony Pineda broke away for a one-on-one opportunity with Akron goalkeeper Tor Saunders, which was quickly batted down by Saunders for the Zips’ second save of the period.
West Virginia led the way in the opening period with five shots as opposed to Akron’s two shots, as well as totaling a pair of shots on goal through the first 45 minutes.
Akron took the first lead of the night when Colin Biros headed in a goal off a cross kick from Diogo Pacheco in the 71st minute. The goal marked Biros’ second on the season and gave the Zips the 1-0 lead halfway through the second period.
The Zips seemed to find a spark plug following the Biros goal as a pair of shots off the feet of Mani Austmann and Pacheco quickly followed the goal.
“At the end of the day they had one shot on goal and they scored on it, it’s kind of been the story of our season,” LeBlanc explained. “I think it’s one of those games where Akron stole the game.”
WVU’s Kevin Morris headed a ball around the net in front of a scrum of players which looked like a goal in the 82nd minute The attempt was denied as Akron immediately drove the ball down to their end of the field.
The near miss marked the second shot on goal in a span of one minute for Morris who was blocked on a header shot just seconds before the ball struck the post.
“I think our record is not reflective of the team we are, we are seriously short-handed at the moment as you can see by some of the guys that are not playing,” said WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc. “Our guys played great tonight and we’ve played great even during the stretch of losing.”
The Mountaineers will now wait to see who they will take on in the MAC quarterfinals on November 12.