MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU men’s soccer team picked up its fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over Duquesne on Sunday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
West Virginia (6-5-0) put on an offensive clinic, firing 24 shots with 17 on frame. The 17 shots on goal are the most since WVU took 15 against Richmond on Sept. 16, 2011.
“The guys were excellent on the evening,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We executed our game plan; we got around them, we got good service and we got a lot of goal-mouth action.”
Junior Jamie Merriam and junior Zak Leedom had seven and five shots, respectively. Six of Merriam’s were on target and Leedom recorded four shots on goal.
Senior Andy Bevin gave WVU a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute, converting a penalty kick opportunity. Bevin received a pass and took the ball inside the box where Duquesne’s Mamadou Traore took him down. Traore was issued a red card and Bevin scored his fourth goal of the season.
Merriam notched his team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 70th minute on a header past Duquesne goalkeeper Sam Frymier for the 2-0 lead. Junior Ryan Cain played a pass out to sophomore Alex Ochoa on the left flank; Ochoa crossed the ball to Merriam, who flicked it towards the far post.
Freshman Jad Arslan netted an insurance goal to bring the advantage to 3-0 in the 86th minute following a pass from Merriam. Arslan raced down the middle of the field, beating his defender before juking Frymier and placing the ball in the open net. The goal was the third of the season for Arslan.
Senior goalkeeper Lee Johnston picked up his second shutout, making three saves. Duquesne finished with 10 shots, led by three apiece from Kadeem Pantophlet and Chris Alescio.
“We had to retool our back line a bit with Haydon Bennett out and Francio Henry out. I thought the back line did a good job,” LeBlanc said. “Louis Thomas slotted in very well next to Jack Elliott in the middle. (Nick) Raskasky got 78 good minutes before he started to cramp up and we got a good showing for 30 minutes out of (Michael) Peprah before he got hurt. It was a good performance from the guys.”
Merriam nearly scored in the 34th minute on a header following a corner kick. The shot was cleared off the line by a Duquesne defender and junior Nick Raskasky took the rebounded shot, but Frymier made the save.
In the 53rd minute Bevin and freshman Joey Piatczyc played a give-and-go to one another as Bevin had a back-heel pass to Piatczyc, but Piatczyc was unable to get a clean shot off.
Cain had a chance in the 63rd minute following a cross from Merriam, but sent the shot over the crossbar.
West Virginia will begin Mid-American Conference action at Northern Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. ET. For links to live stats and a video stream of the match, visit WVUsports.com. Fans can follow the action through social media by following @WVUMensSoccer on Twitter.