WVU Defeats No. 17 UNC Wilmington
By Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
September 5, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Junior Franck Tayou scored his first Division I goal in the form of a game-winner as the West Virginia University men’s soccer team defeated No. 17 UNC Wilmington, 3-2, 1:45 into the final overtime session on Sunday evening. This was the final game of the Save Face WVU Classic presented by Jerseys Subs and was played in front of 1,041 fans at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
"It was a deflating loss on Friday to play so well and not get the win,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We came out flat today, but in the second half the guys really picked us up. It was a miscommunication that made us chase the game, but we executed the game plan in the second half and we’ll take the win."
The game-winning goal came on a cross from sophomore Shadow Sebele who crossed it from the right side of the field. Sophomore Uwem Etuk was then able to flick it to Franck Tayou who was there to bang the shot home right in front of the net.
“As a forward you need to anticipate, be hungry and see the goal coming,” Franck Tayou said. “When the ball was crossed I only had one idea in my mind and that was to put the ball in the net. I didn’t care how, I just wanted to finish it.”
The Mountaineers got out to a sluggish start and it cost them 18 minutes in when UNC Wilmington’s Seph Babington got a loose ball in front of the net and was able to kick it by senior goalkeeper Zach Johnson to give the Seahawks the early 1-0 lead.
“I’m really proud of the team. They fought hard, they fought back and scored two goals in the second half,” LeBlanc said. “If we came out stronger, it wouldn’t have been so difficult, but you have to give all the credit to the players.”
The Mountaineers opened the second half with a completely different mindset and it was evident in the 49th minute when freshman Allan Flott scored his first career goal in his first career start. Sophomore Travis Pittman took a corner kick that was deflected to Flott who was able to settle the ball and beat the defender.
“In a big game like this, especially against a ranked team it doesn’t matter if it’s my goal or a forward’s goal,” Flott said. “Just because it was me doesn’t make it any more special. It’s just that we got that goal and got the win.”
Junior Matt Drake was then able to net his second career goal and first in a Mountaineer uniform to give the Mountaineers the 2-1 lead in the 67th minute. Etuk played the ball upfield and eventually passed to sophomore Peabo Doue who streaked down the left side of the field. Doue was able to get a left-footed cross over the heads of the Seahawks defenders and the ball landed right to Drake in front of the net who finished for the goal.
“Marlon got on us. This team is very young and with that inexperience we sometimes get down on ourselves and Marlon really picked us up,” Drake said. “It wasn’t nice talk at all, but it really got us going.”
Daniel Roberts was then able to tie the game for UNC Wilmington 11 minutes later off a direct kick that went directly into the top left corner.
West Virginia led in the shots category, 15-13, as well as corner kicks, 10-3. The match was a physical one as the two teams combined for 33 fouls and four yellow cards.
Sebele took six shots, four on-goal, while Franck Tayou took three, all on-goal. Johnson finished the game with two saves.
WVU returns to action on Friday, Sept. 10, when it heads to Virginia Beach, Va., for the Stihl Soccer Classic Tournament hosted by Old Dominion. The Mountaineers will take on William & Mary at 4:30 p.m.