WVU Men’s Soccer Advances On Golden Goal

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    The No. 11-seeded West Virginia University men’s soccer team earned a 1-0, double-overtime victory over No. 6 Tulsa in the NCAA Third Round on Saturday night at the Hurricane Soccer Stadium.

    Freshman midfielder Otto Ollikainen scored the golden goal in the 102nd minute to send the Mountaineers into the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 1981, as well as the first time in program history in the current NCAA Tournament format. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Crooks and fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris earned assists on the game-winning tally.

    With the win, WVU improved to 8-14-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament action.

    “That’s a very good team that we’ve just beaten,” said WVU coach Dan Stratford of Tulsa. “I thought that once we showed that we could set up the high press, they had to change. And they did a little bit.

    “We had to grind this out. We had to fight and dig really, really deep. The biggest message they had going into tonight was to have no regrets. From that perspective, it was unbelievable.”

    The Mountaineers (12-3-5) held a 10-8 advantage over Tulsa (16-2-1) in shots, including 7-2 in shots on goal. WVU also had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.

    Fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda fired a pair of shots on goal in the opening 30 minutes of the contest, but both chances were saved by the Golden Hurricane goalkeeper. It was a relatively quiet first half, as the two sides returned to the locker room scoreless after 45 minutes.

    In the second half, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky was needed for the first time in the 51st minute. The Raymore, Missouri, native denied a Tulsa opportunity, one of his two saves on the night.

    Tekesky tied the program record in career starts by a goalkeeper (80) and career wins (45) on Saturday. He also made his 82nd career appearance for the Gold and Blue, which stands alone as No. 1 in the WVU record book.

    In the 61st minute, WVU nearly found its breakthrough during a flurry in front of the goal. However, Tulsa fought off a pair of shots by Morris, as well as one by Crooks, to keep the score line at 0-0.

    Ninety minutes weren’t enough to decide the match, as the Mountaineers entered overtime for the second straight NCAA Tournament game.

    In the first overtime period, Tekesky stood tall for his club with a big save in the 96th minute, forcing the fixture into the final 10-minute segment. That’s when Ollikainen scored off a West Virginia corner kick in the 102nd minute, marking his first career goal. The Helsinki, Finland, native became the Mountaineers’ 14th different goal scorer this season.

    “We knew that on set pieces, we had the size advantage,” Stratford said. “The irony is it was someone who is 5-foot-7 that put the final ball in the back of the net. But, we’ll take it.”

    #164705

    Wow!  Just WOW!

    #164732

    Awesome to see these guys in the Elite 8. Congratulations guys.

    #164738

    They’ll play at noon Saturday at 3rd-seeded Georgetown. The Hoyas beat Providence, 4-1, today.

    #164754

    Congrats to the guys on the pitch

    #164884

    Georgetown has 2 losses on the year if I read it right.  One of the losses was to Providence.  The only common opponent that I saw was Georgia State, who they beat in the second round of the tournament.  We were 1-1 against them.  We are the lowest ranked team left in the field.  St Louis was a 10 seed where we were 11.  Should be a heckuva match.  I figure it will be on the +?

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