MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A goal in the fifth minute of play proved to be costly as the WVU men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to No. 10 Akron on Sunday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers dropped their fourth-consecutive match to fall to 3-5-1 overall, 0-1 in Mid-American Conference action. The Zips improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the MAC.
“Outside of that first five minutes, we were okay. They’re a good team and a good program, but all that said, we had chances,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. ‘If they’re as good of a defending team as they are, we created a lot of opportunities.
“Give them credit, they are a good side, but outside of the first five minutes I thought we were pretty good.”
Reinaldo Brenes notched game-winning goal in just the fifth minute of action, his team-leading fourth goal of the season. The goal came off a rebound inside the six-yard box following an Eric Stevenson shot that was blocked by WVU freshman goalkeeper Brent Arnold
right to the foot of Brenes.
Akron led the shot advantage, 14-10, as well as taking nine corner kicks to WVU’s two. The Zips were whistled for offsides nine times.
Despite the loss, West Virginia had numerous chances throughout the match to tie it up, but could not get past Akron goalkeeper Fernando Pina, who made three saves in the shutout.
Junior Andy Bevin
had WVU’s best chance in the 57th minute as he headed a throw-in from sophomore Jamie Merriam
off the crossbar. The rebound fell in front of the net, but Bevin was not able to regain possession.
Three minutes earlier in the 54th minute, freshman Christian Diaz
pinged a shot from 25-yards out off an Akron clearance that went just wide left of the upper 90.
Diaz started another chance in the 64th minute when he acted like he was going hoot from 30 yards out, but fooled the Akron defender and laid off a pass to sophomore Majed Osman
. Osman broke into the middle of the field and had his shot blocked by an Akron defender over the goal.
WVU will continue MAC play on Saturday, Oct. 5, hosting Northern Illinois at home. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.