The No. 3 seeded Mountaineer men’s soccer team defeated the No. 7 seed South Carolina Gamecocks 2-0 in Orlando in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament to advance to the championship.
The first half started off slow with both teams failing to earn a shot on goal early on.
This all changed in the 12th minute when West Virginia’s Luke McCormick won a ball just on the edge of the box before squeezing it past South Carolina’s Ben Alexander to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead.
The Gamecocks began to find their form in the 29th minute when Ethan Dekel Daks put a shot on goal before Jackson Lee made the save. Dekel Daks was able to put another shot on goal in the 35th minute however Lee was there to make the save again.
Just before halftime South Carolina earned a corner kick but failed to get a shot on goal which sent both teams to the locker with the Mountaineers up 1-0.
Coming out the halftime it was all offense for the Mountaineers as Luke McCormick came close to netting a brace but his shot bounced off the left post.
In the 49th minute the Mountaineers earned a penalty kick following a foul from South Carolina. Yutaro Tsukada stepped up to take the kick for the Mountaineers and converted, giving West Virginia a 2-0 lead.
In the 61st minute West Virginia’s Marcus Caldeira was able to put a shot on target but the Gamecock’s Alexander was there to make the save.
Throughout the second half South Carolina was unable to put a shot on target until the 80th minute when Junior Saint Juste put one on target, but Jackson Lee was there to make the save.
The 2-0 score would prove to be the final from Orlando.
The Mountaineers will now face No. 1-seeded Marshall in the Sun Belt Tournament Finals.
The game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov 12, with kickoff set for 1:00 with the game being played at Marshall.