By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
September 25, 2009
BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It only seemed fitting for freshman Abel “Shadow” Sebele to record the first and last shots of the game, as his final touch came in the form of his first career score – a game-winner. The goal guided the Mountaineers to a 1-0 upset overtime victory over No. 3/5-ranked USF on cool Friday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in front of 1,574 fans.
||Sophomore Alex Silva earned the assist on Sebele's game-winning goal.
All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks
"That was awesome, by the way," coach Marlon LeBlanc says. "I thought it was a good result. We deserved that game tonight. We were the better team the entire match. USF is a fantastic team. They are well-disciplined and they were bending, not breaking. We couldn't hit it home, but it's a great win for the program. I tell everybody, we get up for these big games for some reason. Tonight was the first time where you really saw us act mature. They stuck to the game plan and got it done. All the credit goes to the players tonight."
On a ball that was cleared by a USF defender, sophomore Alex Silva – who earned the assist – headed the ball back into USF territory and it rolled into the 18-yard box. Sebele, with only the goalkeeper to beat, tapped it around USF netminder Jeff Attinella and into an open net for the lone score of the game at the 91:12 mark.
"I thought it was great,” LeBlanc adds. “Again, let me make this point, which is critical, he worked hard to get on the end of that ball. When everybody else stopped, he kept running. I'm a big believer that you don't get lucky – you create your own luck. It was a good ball through by Silva. My hopes are that the flood gates open up for him. That's three game-winners from three freshmen this year."
More notably, it is the second-straight time under LeBlanc that the Mountaineers have defeated an opponent ranked inside the Top 3 of the national poll at home; the last time was in 2007 when WVU upset No. 1-ranked Connecticut on Oct. 19, courtesy of a Jason Bristol goal in the 53rd minute.
WVU, which improves to 3-2-2 overall and 2-1-0 in the BIG EAST, dominated the match from the start of play. The Mountaineers recorded seven-straight shots, including two apiece from freshman Moeryhan “Peabo” Doue and senior Gift Maworere. It was not until the 36th minute that Hasani Sinclair recorded one of USF’s three shots.
The loss was USF’s first of the season, as the Bulls fall to 5-1-1 overall, 1-1-1 in league play. It is also the first time this season that USF has been held to zero shots on-goal.
The second half was the same story for WVU, as the Mountaineers out-shot USF, 5-1. Senior Ryan Gillespie was a major factor, playing in the midfield, early in the second half. At the 41:15 mark, Gillespie served a perfect ball into the box and Doue came diving in, sending a header just wide of the net.
Less than 10 minutes later, sophomore Raymon Gaddis dribbled into a slew of USF defenders, and maturely, brought the ball out and sent it to a wide-open Maworere at the top of the 18-yard box. Maworere blasted a shot that sailed just a few feet wide of the net.
Doue led the team with four shots, three on-goal, and Maworere accounted for three of WVU’s 13 shots in the victory.
The defense of Gaddis, Bristol, freshman Eric Schoenle and sophomore Ruben Garrido was just as spectacular. The four constantly kept the pressure off of redshirt junior goalkeeper Zach Johnson, who did not have to make any saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season. The back line held USF, which averaged 18.5 shots per contest coming into the match, to only three – the Bulls’ lowest total of the season.
The Mountaineers return to action at home on Sunday, Sept. 27, against DePaul. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Dick Dlesk.