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Mountaineers Advance to Elite Eight on Golden Goal

The West Virginia men’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight on Saturday night after just edging out Tulsa in double overtime, 1-0.

The game winning and only goal of the night for either side came in the second overtime period off the foot of freshman midfielder Otto Ollikainen. The goal came from a crossed in corner kick and the assist was provided by sophomore midfielder Ryan Crooks and fifth year defender Kevin Morris 102 minutes into the night.

West Virginia was led offensively on the night by three different players who each added a couple shots in Morris, Crooks and fifth year midfielder Pau Jimenez-Albelda. Crooks and Jimenez-Albelda also each got off two shots on goal apiece.

Tulsa came out the more aggressive team on the night as graduate midfielder Chase Bromstedt and sophomore midfielder Alavaro Torrijos each footed some shots through the opening 10 minutes which both sailed wide right.

The Mountaineers began to attack 20 minutes into the match when senior forward Yoran Popovic sailed a shot over the net for the first West Virginia shot of the night. Only two minutes later, Jimenez-Albelda sent a shot at the bottom center of the goal but Tulsa freshman goalkeeper Alex Lopez stepped in front for the save.

Jimenez-Albelda got another scoring opportunity eight minutes later and 30 minutes into the match when the fifth-year senior sent a somewhat identical shot as his first at goal but was again saved by Lopez in the bottom center of the goal box.

Crooks then got another chance at a one goal lead with three minutes left before halftime, but it was saved by Lopez in almost the same spot as Jimenez-Albelda’s shot on goal.

The Mountaineers got their fair share of chances in the second half too, as 15 minutes following halftime, Morris footed a couple of shots on goal as Crooks also added a shot try between the pair of Morris shots. The three tries at goal came within a span of only 30 seconds of each other as two of the saves came via team saves for Tulsa.

Both teams went scoreless the remaining 30 minutes and all 90 minutes of the regulation portion of the match. Through the regulation scoring drought, the Mountaineers led in shots with nine as opposed to Tulsa’s five shots as West Virginia also got off six shots on goal through regulation.

West Virginia will now head to the Elite Eight in the NCAA men’s soccer tournament and face next the winner of No. 3 Georgetown and Providence next week.

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