Men's Soccer: WVU Ties UNC Wilmington
By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
September 11, 2009
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team played UNC Wilmington to a 0-0 double-overtime draw on Friday night in the Mountaineers’ first game of the UNC Wilmington Tournament at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineer (1-1-1) offense created numerous scoring chances during regulation and nearly found the back of the net in the second overtime.
With 8:20 remaining in the contest, sophomore Adam Mills found freshman Abel “Shadow” Sebele just outside of the six-yard box. Sebele sent a left-footed blast just wide of the right post.
“Their (UNC Wilmington) goalkeeper made a number of big time saves and handled a number of big time crosses and that kept the game from really being blown open,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “You tip your hat to UNC Wilmington because they persevered and withstood the pressure that we put on them. I think we're disappointed that we let this one get away. We had so many opportunities in front of the goal and so many corner kicks and set pieces and we were unable to come away with it.”
WVU’s first scoring opportunity of the game came less than 10 minutes into the first half. Sebele dribbled deep into Seahawks territory and sent a blast from nearly 25 yards out, but the shot was punched out by UNCW goalkeeper Brock Duckworth.
Again in the first half, the Mountaineers pushed the ball up the field and created a scoring opportunity. With less than three minutes before halftime, redshirt junior Kyle West, who earned his first start this season, sent a beautiful cross into the box, but the pass was headed out by a Seahawk defender, nixing the Mountaineers’ chance to score.
Arguably the Mountaineers’ closest call during regulation came from the head of Mills with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. Sebele cross the ball into the box to Mills, who was waiting on the far post and headed a shot that went less than a yard wide of the back post.
In the second frame, WVU came out firing on all cylinders. Sophomore Raymon Gaddis, who really opened up the offense, found himself approximately 25-yards out from UNCW’s goalkeeper and ripped a shot to the far post that was sailing toward the net. A quick reaction by Duckworth preserved the scoreless tie and prevented Gaddis from earning a score.
Less than a minute remaining in regulation, Sebele again was in the Seahawks’ 18-yard box, creating havoc. After getting a feed from freshman Tuan Doan, Sebele dribbled the ball into the box and took a shot on the ground that went toward the inside of the left post, but WVU again was denied by UNCW’s goalkeeper.
Sebele finished the match with a game-high six shots, three of which were on-goal.
As a team, the Mountaineers outshot the Seahawks (2-1-1), 14-8. WVU also held the advantage in corner kicks, 11-6.
“For our guys, it's understanding that we didn't play our best game and yet we were still dominant in that match,” LeBlanc adds. “A year ago, if we weren't at our best, we were losing. Now, when we're not at our best, we're disappointed we're not getting the win. It's a fine line and a nice edge. It's one of those things that we're putting so much pressure on them (opponents) and creating so many opportunities, if we get one to fall, the flood gates can open up.”
WVU returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 13, when it plays Appalachian State (2-2-0) in the second game of the classic. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.