The West Virginia men’s soccer team opened Mid-American Conference play Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Western Michigan Broncos.
Western Michigan attacked early as WVU (8-4, 1-0 MAC) goalkeeper Steven Tekesky was forced to make one save and block another shot in the first 10 minutes of play.
The Broncos (6-5-1, 0-1) led the first half in shots at 10-8, and were able to score their first, and only, goal of the match in the 22nd minute.
The goal was scored by WMU’s senior midfielder Cameron Sipple and came off a penalty kick. It was the first penalty kick attempted by a WVU opponent this season.
The Mountaineers, however, were able to tie the game at 1-1 in the 31st minute after junior midfielder Sebastian Garcia-Herreros crossed the ball to freshman midfielder Josh Dimatteo, and Dimatteo was able to head the ball in for a goal.
It was Garcia-Herreros’ fourth assist in the last three games and Dimatteo’s second goal in the last two.
Western Michigan continued to outshoot WVU in the second half, 8-6, though, with each team having four shots on the goal.
Despite that, the Mountaineers were able to end the stalemate in the 84th minute after junior midfielder Andres Muriel Albino found the back of the net for the game-winning score.
“What a performance from our guys, coming from behind to win on the road at a very good Western Michigan team that’s going to win a lot of games,” WVU coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “They’re a high-quality program, I take my hat off to what (WMU coach Chad Wiseman is) doing here. But, what a performance from the Mountaineers today, I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”
West Virginia was led by Muriel Albino and senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc in shots with four each, and Muriel Albino led the team with three shots on goal, as well.
Tekesky finished with nine saves for the Mountaineers.
The match was originally scheduled for 4 p.m, but was pushed up to a 1 p.m. kickoff due to inclement weather in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
This was West Virginia’s third win in a row, and the beginning of a three-game road trip which will take them to the state of Ohio for their next two matches against Wright State and Akron.
West Virginia faces No. 11 Wright State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.