By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
September 13, 2008
||Junior Ryan Gillespie's first goal of the season came in the form of a game winner Saturday night in overtime.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In a game dominated by the West Virginia University men’s soccer team, junior Ryan Gillespie capped off the match on Saturday evening against St. Francis (Pa.) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium with a goal in the first overtime session, giving WVU the 1-0 win. The Mountaineers notched their first win of the season, improving to 1-3-1, while St. Francis (Pa.) continues to search for its first victory, dropping to 0-4-1.
Gillespie’s first goal of the season came 4:05 into the first overtime session. The Virginia Beach, Va., native, who stood on the left wing just outside the 18-yard box, received a pass from the just above the half-circle. Gillespie’s high-arching shot sailed over Red Flash goalkeeper Darius Motazed into the back of the net.
"We dominated the game from first whistle to last whistle,” Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We kind of looked like the West Virginia of old for 94 minutes today. We put a lot of pressure on them."
Early in the second half, the WVU offense came out on fire. Less than a minute into the second session, sophomore Paul Paradise took a shot that was blocked, but rebounded to freshman Alex Silva who took a rip and forced Motazed to make a save.
Seconds later, freshman Declan Coll fired a shot that was deflected out of play and resulted with a WVU corner kick.
The Mountaineers rattled off 22 shots, four on-goal, and also held the advantage in corner kicks, 6-2.
"You can see the maturity from when we played Lafayette versus when we played tonight,” LeBlanc said. “We're growing as a team. The kids are doing better. They are understanding a lot of the concepts and it’s helping us become a better team."
Sophomore Zach Johnson recorded one save and earned his 15th career shutout, tying him for fourth all-time with Mark Thienel in the WVU annals for career shutouts.
Junior Mo Travis and Silva led all players on the field with five shots in the win.
WVU will return to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium to open BIG EAST conference-play against Villanova on Friday, Sept. 19. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.