WATCH TONIGHT'S MATCH
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team will play its final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Elon. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Rudd Field in Elon, N.C.
West Virginia (5-3-1) is coming off a 1-0 loss to Georgetown last Saturday that knocked them out of the national rankings and ended a five-game unbeaten streak.
The Mountaineers are led by sophomore Peabo Doue who has five goals, while sophomores Uwem Etuk and Shadow Sebele each have four assists. Senior Zach Johnson has recorded three shutouts this season and is now just three away from tying Nick Noble for the most shutouts in school history with 37.
“We had a five-game unbeaten streak going and it was bound to end at some stage. We have to come out strong and get back into a groove again. We were certainly in a groove there for five straight games,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “The only thing that has beaten us in the last three games has been a penalty. We’re defending a lot better than we were at the start of the year and now we just have to put it all together.”
Yesterday, Elon (4-2-3) moved into the NSCAA South Regional Rankings for the first time this season. The Phoenix are coming off a 1-1 draw with No. 9 Duke and a 1-0 victory over UNC Greensboro last week.
Elon is led by sophomores Chris Thomas and Gabe Latigue who have five and four goals, respectively. In goal, Clint Irwin has played all nine games and has given up seven goals to go with his 42 saves.
“They are a very good team,” LeBlanc said. “They got a big result with Duke earlier in the year and they’ve been known as a giant-slayer in the past, and they win more than they lose.”
The only other match between the two teams came last year in Morgantown when the Mountaineers gave up a late goal and tied the Phoenix, 1-1.
After Ruben Garrido scored to put the Mountaineers up 1-0 early in the second half, Elon’s 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 Johnson for the game-tying goal.
“I don’t want it any more or any less than I want every game. I want to in every game, but realistically, you know that you’re not going to win every game,” LeBlanc said. “We let one go with a couple of seconds left against this team last year, but it’s a new season and if we keep reflecting on years past, we’ll never get out of the rut that is last year.”
Live stats will be available on Elon’s athletic website, while a live video stream will be located at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/elon-phoenix-athletics.