Men's Soccer: WVU Picks Up BIG EAST Win

By Grant Dovey for
October 01, 2011 09:36 PM
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Behind a possession dominated attack, the No. 25 West Virginia men’s soccer team earned its first BIG EAST win with a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday evening at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"That was probably as well as we've played all season," coach Marlon LeBlanc says. "I thought we did a really good job of managing the game. From our perspective it was a good to go on the road and pick up three points in a tough BIG EAST environment."

WVU (5-4-1, 1-1-0 BIG EAST) outshot the Bearcats (3-6-1, 0-2-0 BIG EAST) 11-7 and keeper Justin Holmes was able to make two saves for his second shutout of the season. WVU improved to 5-0 all-time against Cincinnati.

"I thought we were brilliant in the midfield and brilliant up from," LeBlanc continued. "Our possession and our ability to unbalance them tonight was as good as it has been all season."

Forward Andy Bevin was able to get the Mountaineers on the board in the 26th minute with his team-leading sixth goal of the season after a free kick from midfielder Travis Pittman. Pittman sent a ball from 25 yards out on the left side of the pitch that a defender was able to head out. The ball settled at the foot of midfielder Allan Flott who played the ball to a charging Bevin, sending a volley over Cincinnati’s keeper Joey Barnard.

Midfielder Uwem Etuk led WVU with three shots, while Flott, midfielder Shadow Sebele and forward Nick Claudio each had two shots apiece.

Etuk had WVU’s first two chances in the first half with a shot that went wide right in the ninth minute and a shot that sailed wide left in the 16th minute after four nicely placed passes by the Mountaineers, starting with Holmes.

After a nice sequence of passes in the 20th minute by the Mountaineers, defender Raymon Gaddis drew a foul deep in the Bearcat zone. Sebele bent the free kick toward the Bearcat goal where Flott flicked a header that went just wide left.

Bevin had what appeared to be his second goal of the evening in the 30th minute after a spin-around shot, the referee however called a hand ball on Bevin.

Claudio kept the offensive pressure in the 36th minute with a sliding shot that was corralled by Cincinnati keeper Joey Barnard after a service from Gaddis who was coming down the right side of the field.

After holding the majority of the possession in the second half, the WVU defense was able to handle a spurt of Cincinnati offensive pressure that included two corner kicks and three throw-ins deep in the Bearcat offensive zone.

Holmes helped relieve the pressure with a point blank save on Leon Barnes in the 67th minute. Emmanuel Appiah got the rebound and sent a shot wide left.

Claudio started West Virginia’s best chance of the second half in the 74th minute with a low line drive that Barnard has trouble handling. Forward Franck Tayou and midfielder Ruben Garrido were there for the rebound with an open net, but Garrido sent a ball sailing wide right.

Holmes improves to 3-2-1, while Barnhard fell to 3-6-1, making three saves.

WVU returns to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium for a match with Georgetown on Saturday, Oct. 8. The match will start at 7:30 p.m. The Hoyas shutout DePaul earlier this afternoon by a score of 2-0.

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