MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 17 West Virginia University men’s soccer team will host Elon in a non-conference match on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
“I think they are a better team than when we played them a couple of years ago,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “The last couple of times they fought right to the end and literally stole points away from us in the last seconds. They are a lot more polished now.”
The Mountaineers come into the match after a 1-1 draw at Western Michigan last Saturday in Mid-American Conference action. Freshman Ryan Cain
scored the game-tying goal in the 53rd minute, while the Mountaineers held the edge in shots at 14-12.
WVU carries a six-match unbeaten streak into the match, led seniors Eric Schoenle
, Uwem Etuk
and Travis Pittman
. Schoenle is first on the team with three goals, while Pittman and Etuk lead the team in points (7) and assists (4), respectively. Twelve different players have scored at least one goal in the season, breaking the school record of 10 that was set in 2006 and 2010.
Defensively, the Mountaineers have posted four shutouts on the season with senior keeper Pat Eavenson
recording a 0.67 goals-against average. He has allowed six goals with 21 saves.
Coach Darren Powell is in his eighth year at Elon, leading the team to a 6-2-1 record and an impressive win over No. 6 Charlotte earlier this season.
Senior Chris Thomas leads the nation in goals with 13 to go along with two assists for 28 points. Matt Wescoe leads the team in assists with five. Last weekend, in a 2-0 win against Davidson, Thomas scored two goals, tying the all-time mark at Elon with 43 career goals.
“They have arguably the best center forward in America right now, and they’re a team that has a Top 15 or Top 20 RPI,” LeBlanc says. “This is a massive game for us on all accounts and Darren Powell is one of the finer coaches that people don’t know yet.”
The Phoenix are led defensively by goalkeeper Nathan Dean who has a goals-against average of 1.40 with 32 saves and 13 goals allowed.
The teams previously meet for a home-and-home series in 2009 and 2010, tying both games at 1-1.
For live stats and video stream of the match courtesy of Kroger, visit WVUsports.com.