Men’s Soccer Plays to Draw Against High Point

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • October 15, 2013 10:24 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against High Point on Tuesday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

WVU (5-6-2) dominated possession throughout the match and finished the game with a 29-7 shot advantage, as well as a 10-5 edge in corner kicks. The 29 shots ranks second all-time and is the most a WVU team has taken since it took 27 against Elon in 2012.

“It was another dominant performance without a win to go along with it,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “I can walk off a little bit more satisfied about my team’s effort tonight because the effort was splendid and the football was good.”

Sophomore Jamie Merriam led all players with seven shots, followed by sophomore Majed Osman with five and freshman Mike Desiderio with four.

“It wasn’t a whole lot different than the Hartwick game the other day. We missed a lot of chances then, and we missed a lot of chances tonight,” LeBlanc says. “We made one mistake and got punished for it. Literally a mistake gave them their goal.”

WVU senior Craig Stephens netted the game-tying goal in the 79th minute off a cross from freshman Alex Ochoa. High Point goalkeeper Kody Palmer game out of net to field the cross, but Stephens beat him to the ball and flicked it over him into an empty net from 15-yards out. It was Stephens’ third goal of the season, while freshman Jack Elliott notched his first-career assist.

“He’s (Ochoa) a very good crosser of the ball and he hit in a nice ball,” Stephens says. “The ‘keeper called for it and I knew he was a ways away and the center back was never going to get there. I just did what I do in training and just flicked it on.”

Four minutes prior, High Point’s Chris Ramsell put the Panthers ahead off of an errant pass by WVU. Ramsell collected the ball and ripped a shot from 25 -ards out past WVU junior goalkeeper Lee Johnston.

“They’re a good side, they’re very direct,” LeBlanc says. “They’ve got some good players in the attack.”

Palmer finished with eight saves on the evening, while Johnston made two stops. High Point also had two team saves, both on WVU senior Jay Williams.

The WVU attack started immediately when Williams received a pass with an open net in the second minute, but blasted a shot over the net.

High Point created a flurry of chances in the 10th minute, highlighted by a shot from 40-yards out by Lolo Lauture that was punched over the crossbar and a shot by Kevin Fallet that hit the crossbar.

Osman almost put the Mountaineers ahead in the 27th minute when he took a free kick from 40-yards out on the left side of the field that hit off the crossbar. Williams got the rebound, but had his shot cleared off the line by a High Point defender.

Bevin and Osman nearly teamed up for the game-winning goal in the final minute of the first overtime. Osman was attempting to get off a shot at the top of the box and passed it away to Bevin, who sent a bending shot that was saved by Palmer.

In the 105th minute Merriam received a pass to Bevin and took a shot that was saved by Palmer at point-blank range.

Ben Burdon led the Panthers with two shots. The Mountaineer defense held Mamadee Nyepon, that nation’s second-highest goal scorer, to just one shot.

WVU returns to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Saturday, October 19, for a 7 p.m. match against non-conference for Georgia State. Admission to the match is free courtesy of United Bank. For a video and audio stream courtesy of Kroger, visit WVUsports.com.

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