Men’s soccer unable to come back from West Virginia’s early goals in 3-0 loss
An injury-ridden game hurt the Eagles
AU men’s soccer lost 3-0 to West Virginia University Tuesday, after The Eagles couldn’t bounce back from WVU’s two goals in the first 22 minutes of the game.
This marks the end of AU’s (1-6-1) non-league schedule and the team’s second loss in a row after it drew 1-1 against Binghamton on Sept. 11. The Eagles haven’t won since their 1-0 victory on the road against Oregon State on Sept. 1.
WVU’s first goal early in the game – a header off a free kick that beat sophomore goalkeeper John Mino – visibly put AU in a downward slump, which continued into the game’s next 60 minutes.
“After we gave up the goal on the free kick, [we were all] disappointed,” coach Todd West said following the game. “We can't let a single play affect our mindset and what we can control. The message is ‘let's control what we can control,’ and I think a little bit in the second [part] of the first half we didn't do that.”
Mino saved six shots in the game’s 90 minutes, but his defense was no match for WVU’s offense on Reeves Field.
WVU’s first goal was scored by Tom Shepherd with an assist by Albert Andres-Llop. The second was scored by Andres-Llop with an assist by Jad Arslan. WVU’s third and final goal was scored early in the second half by Lucca Barbaris with an assist by Sebastian Garcia-Her.
However, it looked as though the Eagles could get on the scoreboard in the game’s final moments. Freshman forward Alameen Salako worked into a promising position near the WVU goal, but the ball was snatched from between his feet and kicked to the centerfield line.
“Alameen wanted to dribble one more guy instead of having that half step of space,” West said. “In high school soccer, he probably would've beaten that guy, but they're Division I athletes now, and it's a little different. It comes down to decisions at speed, and these guys aren't used to making those yet.”
Three Eagles succumbed to injuries on the field Tuesday, with only one injured athlete returning to the field to play. Sophomore defender Oliver Price called the trainer onto the turf with five minutes remaining in the first half, kicking off the Eagles’ string of injuries. Price limped on the sidelines and iced his knee throughout the rest of the game.
Sophomore midfielder Max Holdsworth called the trainer next at the beginning of the second half, but he returned to the game after a few minutes of rest on the bench. Freshman forward Nicholas Dimitrijevic was injured towards the end of the second half, and he remained off the field for the rest of the game.
“I don’t think any of the injuries are [season threatening],” West said. “Sometimes it's worse than you think, and then after they shower and calm down we find that out. Right now, they don't look season threatening.”
Three yellow cards were issued to the Eagles: the first to Price toward the end of the first half, the second on freshman midfielder Matt Sloan shortly after halftime and the third on sophomore midfielder Matt Gillis shortly before the 70 minute mark.
Patriot League play begins Saturday, Sept. 23. The team started working toward their game against Boston University on their first day at training.
“Our record isn't great right now, but with every game we know we're a better team than who were playing,” Mino said after Tuesday’s game. “We’re going to start showing that Saturday.”