By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
October 21, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team finished in a scoreless double-overtime draw with No. 25/23-ranked Ohio State on Wednesday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mountaineers (6-2-6, 5-1-2 BIG EAST), who extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches, opened the match with an aggressive attack.
Following a shot by freshman Moeryhan “Peabo” Doue in the opening minutes of the match, the WVU offense came back down. Senior Ryan Gillespie laced WVU’s first shot on-goal in the 13th minute, but Ohio State’s Matt Lampson made the save. Moments later, junior Dan Hagey ripped a shot in OSU territory that pinged off the cross bar and jetted back into play.
“When we played, we were significantly better at times tonight,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “Ohio State was very physical. Despite us being up against a difficult situation, I thought our team was far superior and really made Ohio State chase the game at times tonight. It's a good result for us on the road against a good team.”
Although the Buckeyes (8-3-4, 2-1-0 Big Ten) entered the match averaging one goal per game, the stingy WVU defense was able to keep OSU off the scoreboard. The Buckeyes managed just three shots in the first half and two shots combined in the overtime sessions.
One of the Mountaineers’ best scoring chances came late in the second half from freshman Nathan Adams. From 30 yards out, near the sideline, Adams ripped a shot at the OSU net, but the goalkeeper was able to just tip it wide and nix WVU’s opportunity.
Gillespie, Doue, Adams and freshman Travis Pittman finished the match with two shots apiece.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Zach Johnson made six saves and recorded his ninth clean sheet of the season. He lowered his goals-against average mark to 0.49 and now owns a 0.883 save percentage.
“Zach didn't have to get dirty tonight, which we're always pleased with,” LeBlanc adds. “Ohio State's opportunities were really second-chance opportunities. They would play it long in the box, it would get knocked out, and then they would have a shot from distance. I thought the defense did well in terms of limiting the danger and keeping pressure off of Zach.”
The Mountaineers used five substitutes in the game, but had seven players record more than 100 minutes in the tie.
WVU resumes BIG EAST action with a match at home on Saturday, Oct. 24, against Georgetown. The match will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.