Mountaineer men’s soccer plays to draw at Bowling Green

Gold and Blue Nation

The West Virginia University men’s soccer team played to a 0-0 draw at Bowling Green in 110 minutes of action at Cochrane Soccer Stadium, in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers (6-3-1, 4-3-1 MAC) tallied a season high 16 shots in the double overtime battle with the Falcons (6-4-1, 4-2-1 MAC), but they couldn’t find the back of the net, despite placing seven of those shots on goal. Junior forward Tony Pineda led the way with four shots on the day, while junior midfielder Ike Swiger and sophomore midfielder Luke McCormick each booted a trio of shots. In total, eight different Mountaineers recorded a shot on Wednesday.

Senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky notched four saves in the draw to earn his sixth shutout of the season. Tekesky’s 20th career clean sheet didn’t come easily, as he and the WVU back line were tested by the BGSU attack throughout the 110 minutes of play.

“It was a fantastic effort by the guys today,” first-year coach Dan Stratford said. “This is a difficult place to come and play, and it was once again another game where we feel like we were the stronger team. If there was going to be a winner, we felt like it was going to come from us. The missing piece may have just been a bit of composure early on in the game. I thought we had some good chances in the first half, and we probably should have capitalized there to take a lead.”

Through the first 15 minutes of the contest, neither team was able to tally a shot, as the defensive units fought off the opposing attacks. The first shot came off the boot of a Falcon, who sent a strong shot into goal, but Tekesky corralled it to record his first save of the match. Shortly after, senior defender Kevin Morris sent a shot on goal for WVU, but it was saved by the Falcon netminder. Despite a scoreless first half, the Mountaineer attack fired on all cylinders, notching four shots on goal, while Tekesky came up with two big saves.

Out of the half, West Virginia earned an early corner kick and managed to send a trio of shots toward the goal, but still couldn’t find the back of the net. Aside from a 60th-minute shot on goal to the lower left from Swiger, there was a lot of back and forth between the two teams for much of the second half. WVU and BGSU each recorded a last-ditch shot on goal with under five minutes to play in regulation, but neither could tally the score, and the match headed to overtime.

A yellow card was pulled on the Falcons near the mid-way point of the first overtime period, giving the Mountaineers a free kick in a good location above the 18-yard box, but the ensuing shot attempt from redshirt sophomore defender Dyon Dromers was wide. Senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda also fired a shot at the 99:10 mark, but it couldn’t hit the target, and the teams headed for another overtime period. In the second overtime, Swiger came up with the best chance for the Mountaineers with a shot on goal in the 107th, but the game ultimately ended in the 0-0 draw.

“Our defensive unit was fantastic once again,” Stratford added. “It was a difficult game. Bowling Green is very big and very good on set pieces. For us to be as resilient as we were and keep a clean sheet, when, quite honestly, if you have a day like this where you can’t find the back of the net and can’t win the game, it’s important you don’t lose it. I give a lot of credit to everyone today for making sure that we kept that clean sheet. If we couldn’t win the game, we definitely weren’t going to lose it, so I’m proud of the guys for that.”

WVU outshot Bowling Green, 16-12, on Wednesday, while the Mountaineers also held a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-4 edge in corner kicks. Tekesky tallied four saves in the match, while BGSU’s Logan Kowalczyk saved six shots.

With the draw, the Falcons continue to hold an advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, as it now moves to 8-5-3. BGSU also holds a 1-0-1 lead in the season series, after collecting a 1-0 over WVU on March 17 in Morgantown. Wednesday’s match at Bowling Green marked the Mountaineers’ first tie and just second overtime game of the 2021 spring season.

The Mountaineers return home for their final match of the regular season on Sunday, April 18, hosting SIU Edwardsville on Senior Day. Kickoff from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, in Morgantown, is scheduled for noon ET.

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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