If a soccer match was only 86 minutes, the 18th ranked Mountaineers come out with a win against Elon. However, two goals from Elon in the last 3:19 shocked WVU and its fans as the Mountaineers fell 3-2.
West Virginia controlled the ball in the offensive for the majority of the game, coming away with 27 shots compared to Elon's ten. However, Elon players capitalized on their opportunities when the chances presented themselves.
With just over three minutes remaining, Chris Thomas scored on a header just over WVU goalie Pat Eavenson's fingertips. The momentum then turned away from WVU, and swayed with Elon. With 28 seconds remaining, Elon's Matt Wescoe was left alone when he chipped a shot past the keeper for what would be the game winning shot.
"It wasn't for a lack of not knowing what they were going to do," says head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "Everything they did was essentially play it long in the air and have #20 (Chris Thomas) go up and win flicks and headers. W knew what to do and how to react to it and we failed on all aspects. It's my fault."
Thomas gave the Mountaineers defense fits for most of the night. He came into the game as the nation's leading scorer with 13 goals. He scored two more tonight to add to that total.
Thomas almost pulled off a hat trick as a chip shot went by the WVU goaltender, but bounced off the post in the 68th minute.
"He's got speed," says senior defender Eric Schoenle. "At the end we might have gotten a little tired, might have just given up but we gotta be able to stick to the game plan. We should know better."
The offense of West Virginia seemed to be hitting on all cylinders. It could be said the goalie from Elon, Nathan Dean, was hitting his stride just pretty well, if not better.
Midfielder Andy Bevin saw a wide open opportunity in the first half, but couldn't hit twine as the goalie stopped shot after shot. Even Uwem Etuk had a breakaway opportunity at the goal, but struggled to reach the back of the net.
WVU goals came from Eric Schoenle on a header from a drive from the corner. Then halfway through the second half, Jamie Merriam ripped a shot from outside the box that soared just over the outstretched hands of Dean.
"Yeah I scored but it didn't do anything, didn't help us very much," says Merriam. "We ended up losing the game so it's just on to the next one against Buffalo on Sunday."
Buffalo heads to town Sunday at 1:00 to take on the Mountaineers. It's the first of four straight Mid-Atlantic Conference games for West Virginia. After a tie at Western Michigan, and this loss against Elon, the Mountaineers will look to rebound back to their winning ways.