Men's Soccer Picks Off #5 Michigan State

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    Kevin KinderKevin Kinder
    Kevin Kinder

    The West Virginia University men’s soccer team upset No. 5 Michigan State, 1-0, on Wednesday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

    The Mountaineers (7-3-3) earned their first win over a top-10 team since a 1-0 victory against No. 7 Georgetown in last season’s opening weekend. The win was WVU’s first over a top-10 opponent at home since a 2-0 triumph over No. 1 UConn in 2011.

    The Spartans (9-2-2), ranked No. 1 in the NCAA RPI and in the top 12 in all four major polls, were shut out for just the second time this season. West Virginia held MSU to a season-low-tying two shots on goal in the contest.

    “It feels good,” WVU coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “It was a fantastic performance from start to finish. All of the credit goes to my guys, they were fantastic. I told these guys two days ago we were going to win this game tonight and they believed.”

    Sophomore Albert Andres-Llop netted the game-winner in the 51st minute. It was his team-leading fifth goal of the season, while junior Jorge Quintanilla assisted on the goal, registering his team-best fifth assist of the year.

    MSU out-shot WVU 10-5, but West Virginia held a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal. Freshman keeper Steven Tekesky made one save, while the Mountaineer defense cleared another shot off the line. Michigan State keeper Jimmy Hague stopped two shots.

    Andres-Llop’s game-winning goal came at 50:02. Junior Rushawn Larmond took the ball around a defender and into the 18 on the far side, where he centered to senior Louis Thomas. Thomas’ shot was blocked, but the deflection went right to Quintanilla just inside the 18. He made the quick pass to Andres-Llop, who fired the ball on goal from the penalty kick mark and beat the Michigan State keeper.

    Andres-Llop, Thomas and sophomore Sebastian Garcia-Herreros all had shots on goal in the contest. Sophomore Logan Lucas and freshman Kevin Morris registered shots for the Mountaineers in the upset victory.

    Larmond had West Virginia’s first chance in the 12th minute, but his ball in from 20 yards out was blocked at the edge of the box. Senior Jad Arslan followed with a chance 10 minutes later, but the ball was stolen away as he entered the box.

    The Spartan’s had a chance in the 30th minute, but Lucas made two great plays to poke the ball away and negate the Michigan State opportunity.

    Morris’ shot that went high in the 32nd minute was the last great chance for West Virginia in the first half.

    The opening 45 minutes saw just three shots, two by the Mountaineers and one from the Spartans. No shots were sent on goal.

    Andres-Llop’s goal in the 51st minute opened the second half.

    Thomas followed with a long shot in the 70th minute from the far side, but Hague made a nice save, jumping up and poking the ball out. The Spartans followed with a pair of shots in the 76th minute, but the WVU defense blocked both before the whistle was blown as Tekesky was going for the ball.

    Garcia-Herreros had an opportunity in the 82nd minute from the far side near the end line, but Hague notched his second save of the day.

    In the final five minutes, Michigan State attempted to find the equalizer, but one shot was blocked and another went wide before time expired.

    Mid-American Conference play continues this weekend when WVU travels to Bowling Green on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff at Cochrane Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio, is set for 7 p.m. ET.

    #30228

    MNTN33R

    Great to see the men’s team emulating the women’s. Keep it up, guys.

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