By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
October 14, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sophomore Ruben Garrido scored his first collegiate goal on a chilly Wednesday evening, but it was not enough as the West Virginia University men’s soccer team tied Elon, 1-1, in double overtime at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers (5-2-5, 4-1-2 BIG EAST) got on the board first in the 47th minute. From the near side of the field, freshman Abel “Shadow” Sebele sent a cross into the 18-yard box in the direction of a Garrido. With the ball in the air, the Elkhart, Ind., native nearly completed a full bicycle kick from the far side of the field and laced the ball into the near post for the score. Sebele earned his fourth assist of the year on the play.
"It's good for him to get the goal,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says of Garrido. “Hopefully it helps his confidence going forward because we need a lot more scores down the road."
WVU nearly went up 2-0 moments later courtesy of one of Sebele’s team-high five shots. After dribbling around an Elon defender, Sebele tapped the ball in front of him and blasted a shot from about 20-yards out that sailed just wide.
WVU also proved to be aggressive on defense. On a ball that was crossed into the box by Steven Kinney, which could have been deadly, senior Jason Bristol put his head on the ball and cleared it out of WVU’s 18-yard box.
Another opportunity arose for the Mountaineers with less than 20 minutes remaining in the second half. From the left side of the field, junior Dan Hagey saw sophomore Alex Silva sprinting into the box. Hagey crossed the ball toward Silva’s direction, but the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, native slightly overran the ball, missing a chance for a shot on-goal.
The game, however, was tied with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Following a WVU foul, Erfan Imeni took a free kick from the near side of the field, just beyond the corner of the 18-yard box. Imeni sent the ball into the six-yard box and the ball was knocked down by a WVU defender. As it slid toward the back post, a WVU defender slid into the ball, knocking it past Zach Johnson for the score.
"Elon's a very good team,” LeBlanc adds. “As much as you preach about not underestimating opponents, I think our coaching staff, myself included, and our players underestimated Elon."
Elon (6-4-2, 3-0-0 Southern Conference) was led by Justin Wyatt and Imeni, as the two recorded six shots apiece in the tie. Four of Imeni’s six shots were on net.
The Mountaineers totaled 17 shots in the game, with six different Mountaineers recording at least two shots apiece in the contest.
WVU returns to the pitch and resume BIG EAST play on Saturday, Oct. 17, as the squad travels to Notre Dame. Kickoff at Alumni Stadium is set for 11:30 a.m.