MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 20, 2021) – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team looks to snap a two-game losing streak as it travels to SIU Edwardsville on Sunday, March 21. The match is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET, at Korte Stadium in Edwardsville, Illinois.
“I think the final product – whether it’s the final pass or the final shot – has been out biggest struggle in these last two matches,” first-year head coach Dan Stratford said. “I think we’ve been very clinical up to this point in the season, but it’s something that needs to improve this weekend to turn ourselves around. We have been creating enough quality chances to equalize and give ourselves potential to go on and win the game, but we need to turn those into quality finishes as well.”
West Virginia (2-2-0, 1-2 MAC) and SIU Edwardsville (4-2-0, 1-2-0 MAC) meet for just the fourth time in program history Sunday, following the Cougars’ inception into the MAC in 2017. SIUE has never beaten WVU, as the Mountaineers have earned a trio of wins for a 3-0-1 series record, as well as a 2-0-1 record in Edwardsville after a pair of meetings at Korte Stadium in 2019.
In the first meeting between the Mountaineers and Cougars in 2019, the squads fought to a double overtime, scoreless draw in Edwardsville, before a rematch took place at Korte Stadium 10 days later in the MAC Tournament. West Virginia earned the 1-0 victory over SIUE to advance to the semifinals and eventually the program’s first-ever MAC Tournament championship title.
The Mountaineers look to break a two-game losing streak in their second conference road test of the season, after falling at home to Bowling Green, 1-0, on March 17. BGSU’s 12th-minute header goal off a free kick from the right side proved to be the difference in the match, as WVU was unable to tally the come-from-behind score for the second consecutive contest. Despite the defeat, the Mountaineers held a 10-7 advantage in shots, as well as a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. The two teams each tallied a trio of shots on goal, while senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky notched two saves in the loss.
As of March 16’s conference stats, junior forward Tony Pineda and redshirt freshman defender Bjarne Thiesen are tied for first in the MAC in goals per game (0.67), while Tekesky is tied for the conference lead in shutouts (2) and save percentage (0.833).
Cale Wassermann is in his second season as the head coach of SIU Edwardsville, after putting together an overall record of 8-5-4 in his inaugural campaign at the helm. Following his January 2019 hiring, Wassermann helped SIUE to a 6-2-1 mark at home, the team’s second-highest home win total since its return to Division I.
The Cougars enter Sunday’s match with a 4-2 overall record this season, along with a 1-2 mark in conference play. As of March 16, SIUE is second in the MAC in points (22), goals (8), goals per game (1.60), goals against average (0.58), saves per game (4.80) and goals allowed (0.60).
Oskar Lenz paces the Cougar offense, leading the team in goals (3), points (8) and shots on goal (5), while Vincent Jackson II has tallied 15 shots on the year to pace the squad. In goal, Lluis Martorell has recorded 25 saves to lead the conference, as well as boasting a 0.833 save percentage.