KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A goal and several more chances in the final 10 minutes was not enough as the West Virginia University men’s soccer team lost 2-1 at Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
On a windy afternoon at the WMU Soccer Complex, the Mountaineers (8-6-1, 1-3-0 Mid-American Conference) trailed 2-0 after 16 minutes of play before scoring on a penalty kick in the 80th minute after a red card was shown to WMU keeper Drew Shepherd. However, down a man for the final 10 minutes and facing a strong offensive push, the Broncos (9-4-4, 1-0-3 MAC) prevented the equalizing score.
At 79:51 and with WVU trailing 2-0, senior defender Jack Elliott
was taken down in the box by Drew Shepherd, the WMU keeper. Elliott converted on the Mountaineers’ first penalty kick of the season to cut the deficit to one.
With Western Michigan down a player for the final 10:09, the Mountaineers put two shots on goal and another hit the post, but they could not get the ball to the back of the net. The offensive charge was led by senior forward Felix Angerer
, who finished with a team-best three shots, two on goal.
The Mountaineers finished with nine shots, six in the second half, with three of their four shots on goal coming in the final 10 minutes. Western Michigan had 13 shots, with six on goal. Junior goalkeeper Jose Santos
made three saves for West Virginia, while WMU’s keepers stopped three WVU shots.
Western Michigan took an early 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. At 8:09, a hand ball was called on West Virginia inside the box. On the ensuing penalty kick, Santos made the save before Zach Bock got his own rebound and shot it past Santos for the opening score.
The Broncos made it 2-0 early in the 16th minute, when Diego Lopez got the ball after a string of passes and beat Santos. Anthony Bowie earned an assist on the play.
West Virginia’s first chance came in the fifth minute, when junior midfielder Joey Piatczyc
had a free kick on the far side outside the box, but his ball in was caught by Shepherd.
After Western Michigan took a 2-0 lead, junior forward Heath Honold
had a shot that was blocked.
In the 27th minute, Santos made a nice stop to keep it a 2-0 match. Off a free kick outside the box on the left side, the WVU defensive wall deflected the free kick, and it went right into Santos’ hands to prevent WMU from getting the rebound.
Piatczyc and the Mountaineers had another chance in the 43rd minute. The junior had a free kick near the end line on the right side outside the box, but the Bronco defense prohibited WVU from getting a foot on the ball as it went through the box.
The Mountaineers put pressure on the Western Michigan defense early in the second half, but it did not result in any great chances to put the ball on goal.
In the 63rd minute, Santos made a great save. Going one-on-one with the WMU attacker on the right side of the net, Santos made the stop near the six-yard box to keep it a two-goal match.
Five minutes later, the West Virginia defense came through with another big block, this time on a strong shot by Bowie that would not find its way through to Santos. Two minutes later on a free kick, the WVU wall again stood tall, blocking the free kick opportunity on the 18-yard line.
In the 74th minute, Western Michigan nearly added to its lead with a shot in that was to the left of Santos, but a WVU defender cleared the ball off the line.
West Virginia scored its first goal at 79:51, on a penalty kick score by Elliott. The penalty kick came after a play inside the box where Elliott and Shepherd collided and Shepherd was shown a red card.
With Kyle Taalman in goal for the Broncos, he made a great save on a WVU header in the 83rd minute. He added another nice save, again on a header, in the 86th.
With 90 seconds remaining, the Mountaineers continued to apply a strong offensive push that culminated with a header by Angerer that hit the right post. The shot off the post was the final opportunity of the match though, as WMU cleared it to run out the clock.
The regular season concludes on Saturday, November 5, at 8 p.m. ET at Northern Illinois. The match marks the final contest of the regular season.