MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – In a highly physical match that produced 33 fouls, seven yellow cards and two straight red cards, the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team fell 3-0 to West Virginia on the road at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Thursday evening.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed with tonight’s result,” said head coach Mike Brizendine. “ We have to find a way to stop giving up multiple goals, especially when they are against the run of play. I give credit to West Virginia. They did a great job and they are very effective at what they do.”
The Hokies (1-2, 0-0 ACC) were outshot 15-13 by West Virginia (3-0, 0-0 MAC) but Tech held an impressive 11-4 lead in corner kicks.
Tech maintained most of the possession for the first 25 minutes of the match and managed to get a few quality chances, but a West Virginia goal in the 26th minute would break up the momentum. The Mountaineers Andy Bevin sent a cross to Mike Desiderio who headed the ball past Ben Lundgaard to give West Virginia the 1-0 lead.
Just one minute WVU’s Andy Bevin picked up a loose ball off of a Hokie defensive miscue and slipped it to teammate Jamie Merriam to bring the lead to 2-0.
Tech would gain the momentum back however, firing multiple shots at the West Virginia goal. Sophomore Som Essome got the Hokies’ best chance in the 31st minute when his rip from 25 yards out dinged off the post and out of bounds.
In the 33rd minute, Tech earned a corner kick. Sophomore Niels Kirch whipped in a ball that found the head of freshman Ricardo John. John’s header was blocked but it fell to freshman Diego Menendez de Miguel whose shot was also blocked out of bounds.
The Hokies would end the half outshooting the Mountaineers 9-6. Goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard was forced to make one save in the first half.
Tech came out in the second half desperate to get a goal but just six minutes into the half both teams were issued a red card and each team began playing with 10 men opening up the field on both sides.
Freshman Dylan Huber almost scored a goal in the 55th minute when he headed the ball towards goal off of a corner kick that was just tipped over the bar by the Mountaineer goalkeeper.
West Virginia would capitalize again in the 76th minute when WVU’s Andy Bevin beat a Hokie defender and slipped it past Lundgaard to make it 3-0.
That’s how the game would end for the Hokies. West Virginia outshot the Hokies 15-13. Lundgaard was forced to make five saves.
“We knew going into this season we were going to have to put the right personnel in the right places. I still believe we have all of the pieces to the puzzle to be successful. We just need to fit those pieces together. We have a few days to watch film, make adjustments and move on to our next match against Longwood. We’re looking forward to getting home and playing in front of our fantastic home crowd,” concluded Brizendine.
Tech will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 9 when the Hokies have their home opener against Longwood at 7 p.m.
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