MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 18 WVU men’s soccer team recorded its second-consecutive shutout in a 4-0 win over Florida Atlantic in WVU’s first ever Mid-American Conference match on Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers dominated statistically in shots (18-2), shots on goal (10-0) and corner kicks (5-2). Twenty-two players saw action for WVU with freshman Majed Osman leading all players with five shots, including three on goal.
WVU converted on its first scoring chance of the match in the 30th minute as freshman Nick Raskasky notched his first career goal. Freshman Zak Leedom took a throw-in from the right side and launched the ball to the front of the net. Osman flicked it slightly to the feet of Raskasky, who tapped the ball into the open net.
“I thought we were average on the day, yet execution of what we needed to do resulted in goals,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “At the beginning of the game, we tried to play centrally a little bit too much and they were jamming their numbers in behind the ball. Once we made changes and got the guys to understand what it was we needed to do, Nick was able to push forward.”
Senior Travis Pittman scored his second goal of the season in the 42nd minute, as he scored on a penalty kick past Florida Atlantic keeper Jeremy Crumpton. Osman drew the penalty with a fantastic effort inside the box to keep hold of the ball while trying to turn a defender who brought him down.
Freshman Kyle Underwood scored the first goal of his career with under a minute remaining in the first half on a failed clearance. Underwood and senior Uwem Etuk both went towards a 50/50 ball with an Owl defender. The ball ricocheted to Underwood, who settled it and took a bending shot from 10 yards out that just went under the crossbar and over a sprawling Crumpton.
Raskasky scored his second of the match in the 78th minute on a similar sequence to his first goal. Junior Allan Flott sent in a cross from the left side to the head of Osman, who had his attempt saved by Crumpton. The redirect went to the foot of Raskasky, who again tapped it in.
“I tried to make a big commitment, no matter what, if the ball is on the other side to try and get my runs going forward,” Raskasky says. “It happened to pay off twice for me so I guess coach (LeBlanc) was right.”
Defensively, the backline allowed just two shots and none on goal. The game marked the fourth time WVU has allowed two shots or less and sixth time it has allowed no shots on goal since LeBlanc took the reins in 2006.
Senior goalkeepers Pat Eavenson and Yale Tiley combined for the shutout as Eavenson played the first half and Tiley earned his first career appearance in the second half.
In WVU’s current three-game win streak, it has held the advantage in goals (10-2), shots (53-16), shots on goal (30-9) and corner kicks (22-6).
The Mountaineers will complete a four-game homestand with a non-conference match against Iona on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. For live stats and video stream of the match courtesy of Kroger, visit WVUsports.com.