Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer: Bristol Lifts WVU Over Marquette

By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
October 3, 2009



MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior Jason Bristol's goal in the 74th minute gave the West Virginia University men's soccer team a 1-0 win at Marquette on a cool Saturday night at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis.

With the Mountaineers’ fourth-straight victory, the squad improves to 5-2-2 overall and 4-1-0 in league action.

Bristol’s goal originally started on a corner kick taken by junior Dan Hagey, who was playing in his first game since being injured on Aug. 23 in an exhibition against Michigan. The ball was knocked down by a Marquette defender, but was not cleared, and Bristol sent a shot top shelf, beating Golden Eagles’ goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski for the score. The goal was Bristol’s fourth career score, and first since his sophomore season in 2007.

“The second half, Marquette came out very physical,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “Gift (Maworere) had to come off after a nasty challenge that a kid received a yellow card for. I thought that kind of spurred us after that foul. The guys picked it up with Gift out and really started to put a charge back into the game.”

The match had 21 fouls whistled, including two yellow cards and one red card distributed to Marquette players.

The Mountaineers received strong play from redshirt junior goalkeeper Zach Johnson, who made five saves en route to his fifth shutout of the season. The Lumberton, N.J., native was strong on any long balls the Marquette offense used to start an attack and also displayed his strong leadership skills when handling congestion in front of the net.

“He had a big save in the first half,” LeBlanc says of Johnson. “They played a long ball over the top and got on the end of it. They played it toward Zach and he made a great save.”

The rest of the Mountaineer defense was solid, especially in the first half when Marquette did not record its first shot of the game until the 39th minute of the contest.

The Mountaineers held the advantage over the Golden Eagles (2-5-2, 1-2-2 BE) in shots (12-9) and corner kicks (5-3).

Freshman Abel “Shadow” Sebele recorded a game-high four shots, with one on-goal. Including Sebele, six Mountaineers played all 90 minutes in the victory.

WVU is tied now with Connecticut atop the BIG EAST Blue Division as both teams own identical records and 12 points apiece. However, LeBlanc says the team is concentrating on its next task.

“Our focus is already on Pitt. We're already looking forward to what should be a big game up there and we're hoping that some of the Maniacs make the drive up to Pittsburgh and come to the game.”

The Mountaineers' match against the Panthers will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Kickoff at Founders Field is set for 7 p.m.