Men's Soccer: Maworere Lifts WVU in OT
By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
September 27, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior Gift Maworere’s goal at the 94:07 mark gave the West Virginia University men’s soccer team a 2-1 overtime win over DePaul on a chilly Sunday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The overtime victory was the Mountaineers’ second in three days, as they have now won three-straight matches – all BIG EAST contests. The squad improves to 4-2-2 overall and 3-1-0 in the BIG EAST.
While the Mountaineers needed just over a minute against No. 3-ranked USF for the game-winning goal, WVU’s golden goal came 4:07 into the first overtime.
Freshman Abel “Shadow” Sebele laid off a pass to freshman Travis Pittman in DePaul territory. After shaking a defender, Pittman sent a beautiful pass into the box with left foot. Maworere, after chesting the ball and gaining control, flicked it into the net past DePaul goalkeeper Joe Ferrari for the score and win. Sebele and Pittman were credited with assists and Maworere’s goal – the first of the season – was his first since freshman year in 2006.
“I didn't tell Gift - I'll tell him afterward - but Andy Wright sent me an e-mail yesterday asking when Gift was going to be on the score sheet again,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “It was nice for Gift to get a goal. I actually didn't even see the finish. I was watching behind to make sure we had the right balance and committed that number going forward. It was a great run by him to get in and a classy finish. It was a special moment for Gift to score the game-winner and hopefully it's not the end of them.”
WVU’s momentum, however, did not start until late in the game.
“The first half was painful for all of us,” LeBlanc adds. “The second half, the guys turned it around. We made a couple of changes to try to put a little more pressure on DePaul and certainly we did. I think we made the game a little bit harder on ourselves than we had to. Second half was a pretty good showing.”
WVU, which trailed 1-0 entering halftime, came out with a vengeance in the second half and recorded the first four shots of the period. The Mountaineers nearly tied up the match in the 50th minute on a set piece. Pittman sailed a corner kick into the six-yard box and Maworere, with his back to the goal, flicked the ball toward the back post. The shot, however, was knocked out by a DePaul defender.
DePaul (5-4-0, 2-2-0 BIG EAST) did not record its first shot of the half until the 61st minute.
The Mountaineers continued to pressure DePaul’s goalkeeper and defense. A corner kick by Pittman nearly proved to be fatal again as freshman Eric Schoenle’s header sailed just wide of the net at the 67:46 mark.
As time winded down, WVU began to feel the pressure, and as it had all game, a corner kick was what tied the match at one apiece.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Sebele sent a corner kick from the far side of the field toward the back post and Pittman – who often was the one taking the corner kicks – was on the receiving end of the corner. Out-jumping a group of DePaul defenders, Pittman nailed a header to just inside the back post and under the cross bar for the score. Sebele earned an assist on the play.
The Mountaineers looked as though they would be able to win in regulation with less than two minutes to go. Freshman Moeryhan “Peabo” Doue sprinted after a through ball, beating two defenders and was in alone on the goalkeeper, but was whistled offside, nixing the Mountaineers’ opportunity.
In the second half alone, WVU out-shot DePaul, 11-4, and held the advantage in corner kicks 8-1.
Maworere, a Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, native, had a game-high in shots (4) and shots on-goal (3). Fellow Zimbabwean Sebele had three shots in the victory.
WVU returns to action on Oct. 3, when the team travels to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette. Kickoff at Valley Fields is set for 8:05 p.m. ET.