MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 7, 2021) – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team fell, 3-2, in a hard-fought, double overtime battle at No. 21 Akron on Wednesday night, at Cub Cadet Field inside FirstEnergy Stadium, in Akron, Ohio.
In a back-and-forth battle throughout the 110 minutes of play, the Zips were able to find the back of the net in the 108th minute to tally the “Golden Goal” after taking a deflection off the left post.
Despite the loss, a pair of Mountaineers scored against Akron Wednesday, including sophomore forward Luke McCormick and redshirt sophomore defender Dyon Dromers. WVU held a 14-9 advantage in shots, including an 8-2 edge in corner kicks. The two teams tallied a matching five shots on goal, while senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky recorded a pair of saves in the loss.
“It’s cruel when it happens that late in the game, with just two minutes left,” Mountaineer coach Dan Stratford said. “Although, it wasn’t like we were trying to hang on at the end by any stretch. In fact, I thought it was quite the opposite. I thought we had the better of the game throughout, quite honestly. The stats will likely support it and so will the possession, I would anticipate. I have to give credit to Akron, they’re a quality team. That was a great game of football, really, and I wish we didn’t have to be on the receiving end of an unfortunate result.”
The Zips were the first on the board, with a header goal off a corner kick in the eighth minute. Playing from behind for just the third time this season, the Mountaineers (5-3-0, 3-3 MAC) controlled possession throughout much of the rest of the first half. WVU’s first real chance came from a penalty kick attempt in the 14th minute after the Zips committed a foul inside the box. Redshirt freshman defender Bjarne Thiesen took the opportunity, but his attempt was stopped short by Akron keeper Will Meyer.
West Virginia tallied a pair of shots from junior defender Elijah Borneo and Dromers following the penalty kick attempt, but neither could find the back of the net. WVU wasn’t until the 43rd minute, when freshman defender Jesus De Vicente fed a cross into McCormick, who booted the ball in for the equalizer just before the half.
Out of the half, WVU continued to hold possession, tallying a trio of early shots from senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda, while Tekesky notched his first save of the contest at the 57:07 mark. However, with 10 minutes to go in regulation, the Zips broke away into open field and got the better of Tekesky to notch the go-ahead goal.
With time running out on West Virginia’s equalizing opportunities, a yellow card was drawn on Akron inside the box to give WVU its second penalty kick opportunity of the contest at the 85:08 mark. This time, Dromers took the chance and was able to beat Meyer to tie up the game, 2-2, with under five minutes remaining. Neither team was able to find a last-minute score, and the match went to overtime.
The Mountaineers showed their control right out of the gate in the first OT period, firing a pair of shots and earning a corner kick, but nothing came of their attempts, and the match remained tied at the 100-minute mark.
In the second overtime period, Akron upped the pace of play and fought to keep the ball in its own attacking half. In the 108th minute, the Zips ripped a shot from the top of the box that deflected off the post. Taking the rebound, Hazem Sobhy was able to sneak the game winner past the arms of Tekesky and solidify the win for Akron.
With Wednesday’s victory, the Zips strengthened their all-time series advantage over the Mountaineers, now holding an 18-4-1 lead over WVU, including an 11-3 advantage all-time in Akron.
Of note, McCormick’s score in the 43rd minute marked the Derby, England, native’s second consecutive goal at Cub Cadet Field, after he tallied the game-winning goal in the 2019 MAC Tournament Championship against Bowling Green on Nov. 17. Additionally, the score was his first goal of the season and third of his career. Dromers’ penalty kick goal marked his second consecutive score in as many games for the Mountaineers, while it was his first penalty kick attempt of the year.
Up next, the Mountaineers are back on the road for the second installment of their three-game road trip with a Sunday afternoon contest at Northern Illinois on April 11. Kickoff from the NIU Soccer and Track and Field Complex in DeKalb, Illinois, is tabbed for 1 p.m. ET.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications