West Virginia men’s soccer reached a career milestone on Thursday as the Mountaineers opened their 500th program win behind a 2-1 comeback win over Georgia State.
WVU had to overcome its second straight one-goal halftime deficit, but they did it with style. Dyon Dromers added his first goal since missing the last 11 games with a knee injury, sending in a massive strike from outside the penalty box. Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi broke the tie in the 89th minute when he poked in a header for his fourth goal of the season.
The Panthers went ahead in the 25th minute as goalkeeper Steven Tekesky made a risky challenge on a breakaway for Matthew Fearnley. Tekesky received a yellow card, and Georgia State earned a penalty, which was promptly finished by George Proctor.
“In regards to the way that we responded, which was a little bit different to [WVU’s win against Elon], it was a very, very different halftime team talk, it was more continue to trust what we were doing, have a lot of belief in what we’ve created in the first half, and don’t get frustrated and don’t lose the discipline to continue to execute what had worked for us in the first half,” said WVU coach Dan Stratford.
The Panthers took that lead to the locker room for halftime, as well as an advantage in the shots column.
Dromers knotted the game up in the 58th minute, when he found some space outside of the box for a strike. He sent the ball past GSU goalkeeper Gunther Rankenburg and off the right post for the equalizer in a score that has made waves across social media.
Even though he was still sporting a brace on his injured knee, Dromers made it clear that he felt just fine.
“The coach mentioned it in practice, just shoot whenever you have the chance,” Dromers said. “We were 1-0 behind, so I just thought, like, just hit it, then I saw the ball fly in the top corner and it made me very happy. After eight weeks back, it feels amazing.”
The battle ensued right until the final minutes, until WVU’s Ryan Crooks crossed it in to Bourlot Jaeggi for the game-winning score, giving the Mountaineers their program-milestone 500th victory.
“We were getting into those areas frequently, and the shape is designed so that we should get into those areas frequently, “The only piece that’s been missing too, too often has been just the belief in the final touch and the clinical element of getting that final touch in that position. It was a good cross,
a good header.”
Not only was it a big game for the team, but also defender Kevin Morris, who made his 89th career start for West Virginia. He has started all 15 matches for the Mountaineers this season, and is tied for the team’s lead in minutes with Tekesky at 1,445.
Dromers’s goal is his second of the season in just four appearances, while Bourlot Jaeggi’s slots him tied for the Mountaineers’ lead with Yoran Popovic.
The Mountaineers move to 9-2-4 overall on the season, and are tied with Akron for the third spot in the MAC at seven points with two games to go in the regular season. Georgia State slides to 10-5-0 overall and sit in fifth with six points.
West Virginia next hits the road to face Georgia Southern on Sunday before returning home for the regular season finale on Nov. 4 against Bowling Green.