Courtesy of West Virginia Athletic Communications
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU men’s soccer team came back from two deficits and pushed its unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-3 draw against Bowling Green on Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
With the tie in the final regular season match, WVU (7-6-5, 2-2-2 MAC) clinches the No. 4 in next weekend’s Mid-American Conference tournament.
“We made it hard early on. We really had a lot of chances tonight,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “The not so great side is that we conceded three, but the brilliant side is that we scored three. Their goalkeeper made four or five outstanding saves tonight. We couldn’t put the game away, but at the end of the day we got the result that we needed.”
The Mountaineers finished with a 22-15 edge in shots, including a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore Ryan Cain took a game-high four shots with a total of six WVU players recording at least two shots.
West Virginia came back from a goal down twice in the first half with goals by freshman Christian Diaz and junior Andy Bevin.
After WVU conceded a goal in the third minute, Diaz tied the match with his second score of the season. A bad clearance following a corner kick saw the ball land at Diaz’s feet, who ripped a shot from 25 yards that deflected off a defender and into the net.
Bevin notched his ninth goal of the season just before halftime on a half volley from eight yards out that was blasted past BGSU goalkeeper Michael Wiest. Sophomore Majed Osman picked up his team-leading seventh assist of the season on a cross to Bevin. Diaz began the sequence with a free kick.
Bowling Green’s Ryan Comiskey scored two goals in the first half, one in the third minute and another goal in the 23rd minute.
Comiskey’s first goal came off a defensive breakdown by WVU that led to a two-on-one. Rodcliff Hall played a pass to Comiskey, who slotted it to the far post past WVU junior goalkeeper Lee Johnston.
Comiskey’s second goal of the half was on a left-footed 20-yard shot from the right side of the pitch.
Cain gave the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead in the 59th minute, scoring his third goal of the season after receiving a cross just beneath the 18-yard line in the middle of the field. Cain ripped a bending right-footed shot past a diving Wiest. Senior Craig Stephens and sophomore Jamie Merriam picked up assists on the goal.
Bowling Green’s only chance of the second half resulted in a game-tying goal with only five minutes remaining in the match. Brandon Silva sent a corner kick to Ryan Snashall, who headed the corner over a leaping Johnston.
Each team had chances in the second overtime, but neither was able to capitalize. Cain blasted a similar shot to his goal just wide in the 105th minute, while BGSU’s Danny Baraldi hit a half volley in the 108th minute that was blocked by a defender.
West Virginia will play the winner of tomorrow’s Akron/Western Michigan match in the MAC Tournament semifinals next Friday at a site and time to be determined. If Akron and Western Michigan tie, the Mountaineers will take on the Broncos.