Courtesy of Hartwick Athletic Communications
ONEONTA, NY – Dean Fowler's (Sydney, Australia/Colo HS) first career goal in the fifteenth minute held up as Hartwick's men's soccer team stayed unbeaten in conference play Friday night with a 1-0 shutout of West Virginia (5-6-1, 1-2 MAC) in a match played on Elmore Field. Hartwick has now won three straight games and improves to 4-5-2 overall.
"I couldn't be happier for our team in achieving another spectacular result in the MAC," said John Scott. "There were not too many real chances in the game, but we took care of our moment when it arrived."
Fowler's goal came on the first real chance of the match for either team. Max Walcott (London, England/West Herts College) started the play as he bolted down the right sideline, got deep into WVU territory, and served a low cross into the Mountaineer box. Will Broomfield (Brighton, England/Cloud Community College) met the ball and got a touch, continuing it for Fowler, who was unmarked. His shot took a deflection but eluded WVU keeper Lee Johnston for the 1-0 Hartwick lead at 14:53.
The Mountaineers would out-shoot the Hawks 7-1 in the opening half but none of the WVU shots would trouble Hartwick goalkeeper Mateo Munarriz (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) until the final minute.
With less than thirty seconds remaining in the half, a nice cross from WVU leading scorer Andy Bevin from the left side was headed out by a Hartwick defender close to the goal line. The ball popped out to the penalty spot where Hayden Bennett ripped a shot at goal but defender Ross MacKinnon (Glasgow, Scotland/Jordanhill School) was on the line to head the ball away and keep the game level.
In the second half, the Mountaineers again held a 7-1 edge in shots but all seven were off-target. The best chance of the match for the visitors came with 23 minutes left in the contest. A service from the right side into the Hartwick box came all the way to an unmarked Bevin. He one-timed his shot but it ricocheted off the near post and out of play.
The Hawks had a few dangerous services into the WVU box in the second half but couldn't get on the end of them. Alex Ochoa had the last shot for the Mountaineers with 2:24 left but it sailed high over the 'Wick crossbar and the Hawks secured the victory.
Munarriz was not called upon to make a save in earning his second straight clean sheet for Hartwick. He has not conceded a goal in the last 187:32 of action.
"Our boys earned the clean sheet that we talked about at halftime," added Scott. "Now we just have to keep the momentum going."
With the victory, Hartwick jumps Akron into first place in the MAC with a 2-0 mark. It is the first time the Hawks have been 2-0 in league play since 2009. 'Wick improves to 3-1 all-time against the Mountaineers.
Hartwick takes its 2-0 conference record into Tuesday as it travels to the University at Buffalo for a 7 p.m. match.