Youth Leads Men’s Soccer to Victory

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • September 26, 2012 10:24 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the second-consecutive game two freshmen scored their first career goals as the No. 17 West Virginia University men’s soccer team defeated Iona, 3-1, on Wednesday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

“Three years ago when my senior class were all freshmen, we couldn’t buy a goal,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “I could care less who scored, but it was a little worrisome at one point when we hit that white thing around the net. Three goals are three goals, and it is two new scorers on the score sheet.”

The game-winning goal came from the foot of freshman Majed Osman in the 58th minute for his first career score. Senior Peabo Doue brought the ball up the left side and sent a cross to the head of freshman Francio Henry. Henry sent the ball to senior Shadow Sebele in the center of the field, who played a pass to Osman on his right. Osman beat the keeper to the left side of the net from 14 yards out to put WVU up 2-1.

“Our center back (Eric Schoenle) has three goals and our right back (Nick Raskasky) has two goals, it’s quite strange,” Osman said. “As long as we are winning, that’s the most important thing. The more scores the better.”

Freshman Zak Leedom notched his first career goal in the 79th minute following passes from senior Uwem Etuk and freshman Kyle Underwood to the center of the field. Leedom settled the ball and took an uncontested shot that beat the keeper into the left side of the goal.

“It was special,” Leedom said of his first goal. “I just had to get the first one and hopefully I can get more. It was a good roommate connection, I room with Kyle and it was nice he picked his head up and saw me.”

Five of the last seven goals have been scored by freshmen as Underwood and rookie Nick Raskasky scored one and two goals, respectively, last Sunday against Florida Atlantic. Twelve different players have scored at least one goal for the Mountaineers this season.

WVU (6-2-1, 1-0-0) dominated the pace of play throughout the game and took a season-high 22 shots, including nine on frame. Leedom led all players with five shots, while Osman had three shots.

Iona (2-7-0) was paced by Ansger Otto, who opened the scoring in the 11th minute on the Gaels’ first shot of the match. Ignacio Maganto played the ball to a streaking Otto down the right side, who used his speed to break through the WVU defenders and took a shot towards the far post that beat WVU senior keeper Yale Tiley.

Senior Eric Schoenle tied the game in the 38th minute with his team-leading third goal of the season. Senior Travis Pittman sent an in-swinging free kick to the far post where Raskasky deflected it to Schoenle on the opposite side of the net. Iona goalkeeper Borja Barbero was unable to get into position and Schoenle had a shot into a wide open net.

“We’re playing well as a team. I could score zero goals and as long as we win I’d still be happy,” Schoenle said. “I’m getting good service, guys are playing good balls into the box and I’m getting a few lucky bounces here and there. It’s not just me scoring, we’re on a roll right now and I hope it continues this weekend.”

Tiley earned the win in his first career start in goal after coming off the bench last Sunday. Barbero took the loss, allowing three goals and making six saves.

WVU returns to Mid-American Conference action when it travels to Western Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 29. The match will begin at noon.

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