AKRON, Ohio – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team had its season come to a close on Friday evening, falling 3-0 to No. 8 Akron in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinal.
The loss now completes West Virginia’s 2013 season with an overall record of 7-7-5. Akron finished with a 22-8 edge in shots, including 7-2 in shots on goal. The Zips also took four corner kicks to the Mountaineers’ three.
Eric Stevenson notched two goals to lead the Zips, while Adam Najem had three assists in the victory.
Stevenson’s first goal of the match came with only 0:18 remaining in the first half to put Akron ahead 1-0. The goal came following a free kick by Najem that was headed by Saad Abdul-Salaam to Stevenson, who drilled a half-volley off the far post.
"We had a couple of chances early off turnovers, but we lost it midway through the first half. We picked the worst day to have our worst day," coach Marlon LeBlanc says. "That being said, we were right in the game and I was a little disappointed when the referee stopped the game to give them a free kick with 18 seconds left in the half. Giving up a goal that close to halftime breaks your back heading into the locker room."
Aodhan Quinn, the MAC Player of the Year, made it 2-0 in favor of the Zips in the
Najem played a pass ahead to Quinn, who had a clear shot at goal and ripped it by
WVU junior goalkeeper Lee Johnston.
In the 66th minute Stevenson made it 3-0 after putting home an errant shot by Najem. Abdul-Salaam picked up his second assist of the evening on the goal.
West Virginia came up strong to start the game and had its best chance in the sixth minute of action. Junior Andy Bevin
and sophomore Majed Osman
had a two-on-one. Osman then attempted to play the ball to streaking sophomore Zak Leedom
, who was unable to catch up to the pace and had it stolen.
Stephens picked up the first shot on goal by either team in the 11th minute that was easily scooped up by Akron goalkeeper Jake Fenlason.
Sophomore Jamie Merriam
took two shots over the crossbar for the Mountaineers, once in the 47th
minute and another in the 78th
Osman drew a foul in the box in the 81st
minute to force a penalty kick. Sophomore Ryan Cain
took the shot, but it went wide left of frame.
Junior goalkeeper Lee Johnston
made four saves in the losing effort.