Saturday's MAC Men's Soccer Results - 8/25
West Virginia 2, Hartford 1
Bowling Green 3, St. Bonaventure 0
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
West Virginia 2, Hartford 1
W.Va. – The No. 9 West Virginia University men’s soccer team opened the season with a 2-1 victory over Hartford on Saturday evening in the WVU Nike Classic. The crowd of 1,786 was the fifth highest to ever witness a men’s soccer match at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The game was physical from the start with the teams accumulating 41 fouls, seven yellow cards and three red cards. Hartford coach Tom Poitras and defender Damion Lowe were ejected in the 24th minutes and 81st minute, respectively, while WVU freshman Ryan Cain was issued a red card in the 85th minute.
“We looked like it was our first game in 10 months,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “For the most part I thought we really were the team that tried to play tonight. The problem was we just made a couple of mistakes on counter attacks and we need to keep driving into them to follow game plans.”
Senior Travis Pittman gave WVU the early 1-0 lead, while senior Peabo Doue scored the game-winner in the 77th minute, leading the Mountaineers to victory.
Doue’s score was sparked by junior Craig Stephens, who played a ball to senior Uwem Etuk in space. Etuk gathered the ball and sent it through to Doue, who took a chip shot from 15-yards out that went over the sprawling goalkeeper and into the upper 90 of the right side.
Pittman gave WVU the early lead in the 20th minute for the first goal of the 2012 season. Senior Shadow Sebele initiated the sequence by playing a ball from the center of the field to Cain deep in the left side of Hartford’s zone. Cain one-touched the ball to Doue, who followed with a cross to a streaking Pittman. Pittman was able to get his head on it, placing it behind the Hartford keeper into the net.
WVU (1-0-0) took 14 shots compared to Hartford’s (0-1-0) eight, while WVU also led in the corner kick category, 6-1.
Pittman led all players with four shots, including three on-goal. Doue recorded three shots, while sophomore Andy Bevin finished with two. David Bernhardsson led the Hawks with three shots.
Connor Yeaney scored the game-tying goal for Hartford in the 29th minute after a set piece about 35 yards out in front of the West Virginia bench. Bernhardsson sent the free kick to the back post, where Yeaney was positioned to head the ball in the far right corner of the net.
Senior goalkeeper Pat Eavenson made three saves in the winning effort for WVU, while Hartford keeper Viltsu Tuumi made four stops.
WVU’s best non-scoring chance came in the 79th minute when a frenzy in front of the net broke out that left WVU senior Eric Schoenle on the ground on the goal line. The loose ball came to Doue, who kicked it right into Schoenle. Cain got the rebound and slotted in the net, but Schoenle was offside.
Etuk took WVU’s first shot of the season just 33 seconds in the match, ripping the ball over the Hartford net.
The Mountaineers close out the WVU Nike Classic with a match against Stetson on Monday, Aug. 27, at 1 p.m. Stetson fell at Penn State, 3-0, earlier on Saturday evening.
Bowling Green 3, St. Bonaventure 0
Bowling Green, OH -- The Bowling Green State University men's soccer team got the 2012 season started on a successful note, blanking Saint Bonaventure University, 3-0, on Saturday night (Aug. 25). The match, the regular-season opener for both teams, was held at Cochrane Field.
Danny Baraldi, Brandon Silva and Ryan Comiskey scored for the Falcons in the win, while goalkeeper Michael Wiest and his teammates picked up the shutout.
The win came before a crowd of 2,076 at Cochrane. That attendance figure is the second-largest single-game total in the last 15 years, trailing only the crowd of 2,133 for last season's opener (a 2-0 win over Michigan).
Baraldi gave the Falcons the lead for good, scoring with 19-and-a-half minutes gone in the match. Junior Anthony Grant started the play, as he was taken down by a Bonnie defender in the penalty area, on the right side of the 18-yard box. With play continuing, Grant got to his feet, won the ball back and slid a pass across the six-yard line toward Baraldi. Baraldi, running to meet the ball, shot across his body, and his one-time effort eluded the reach of SBU goalkeeper Ben Cowman and found the far corner of the net.
Less than a minute after Baraldi's goal, the visitors nearly tied the score. A BG foul gave the Bonnies a free kick just outside the penalty area, on the right side. James Reed took the kick, and drilled a shot that hit either Wiest or a defender. The ball trickled across the goalmouth, and Brad Beumont arrived at the left post, but could not keep the ball from rolling just wide of goal.
The Bonnies had another chance to knot the score with under nine minutes left before halftime. After a BG giveaway in the defensive zone, Wiest made a diving stop to deny Brad Vanino. The Falcon 'keeper dove to his left to stop Vanino's offering from approximately 15 yards out.
Three minutes remained in the half when senior Joey D'Agostino blasted a shot from distance that went only just wide right. Less than a minute later, Comiskey put sophomore Vlad Lekarev through on a give-and-go play, but Lekarev was ruled to be just offside. The Falcons took a one-goal lead into the intermission.
The second half saw the Bonnies take five of the first seven shot attempts of the period, including a header by Emmett O'Connor that was not far off the mark, but it was BG's Grant who had arguably the best scoring chance during that stretch. Senior Chris McLean found Grant with a diagonal pass, and the junior headed into the box on the right side. His shot from 12 yards out rolled just wide of the far post in the 59th minute.
Zach Lemke was stopped on the doorstep by Cowman, after Lemke had been the recipient of a McLean entry pass. The Bonnies had a flurry midway through the period, but back-to-back shots were blocked by the BG defense. Under a minute later, the Falcons had doubled the lead at the other end of the field.
After weathering that SBU flurry, the Falcons went on the counterattack, and Cowman took Comiskey down as the BG forward came into the 18-yard box with a head of steam. A penalty kick was awarded, Silva converted the kick at the 69:49 mark, and BG had a 2-0 advantage.
With 12 minutes left, Lemke ripped a shot that went just wide of the upper-right-hand corner of the goal. But, under two minutes later, the Falcons attacked again. A BG defender played a long ball forward, and Cowman came out of the penalty area in an effort to beat Comiskey to the ball. Cowman reached the ball first, but his clearing effort sliced toward the left sideline.
McLean settled the ball and played it to Comiskey, who headed toward goal on a two-on-one advantage. With freshman Ryan James to his right, Comiskey made several moves to gain space, then fired a low shot that beat Cowman to his left. The goal all but sealed the deal with 10:28 left.
SBU had several chances thereafter, including a shot by Daniel Iannacito that was blocked off of the goal line by a BG defender, but the Bonnies could not get on the scoreboard. Wiest's shutout was the seventh of his career, and the junior made seven saves to match his career best.
For Wiest, the shutout was his fifth in eight career starts at Cochrane Field.
The shot totals were relatively even, with the Bonnies holding a slim 16-15 in total shot attempts. SBU put eight shots on goal to BG's four, but Wiest and his defenders were equal to the task. Cowman had one save for the visitors.
Saturday was 'Alumni Night' for the Falcons, and the throng of over 2,000 fans included a number of former BGSU men's soccer standouts. One former Falcon men's soccer legend in attendance was Mel Mahler, who spent 17 years with the Falcons as an assistant coach and a head coach. Mahler's career head-coaching record at BGSU was 111-76-13, and he guided the Falcons to three Mid-American Conference regular-season championships, three league tournament titles and three-straight trips to the NCAA Championships from 1995-97.
The 2012 Falcons are home again on Wednesday (Aug. 29), facing Michigan State University in a 7:00 p.m. start at Cochrane Field. BG's season-opening three-match homestand concludes next Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Falcons host Marshall University in another 7:00 p.m. match.