The No. 25-ranked West Virginia University men’s soccer team found the back of the net five times, including three times in an 81-second span, in a 5-2 victory over No. 15/16 Coastal Carolina on Friday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers received a pair of goals from freshman forward Rodrigo Robles Grajera, while senior midfielder Andres Muriel Albino, sophomore forward Tony Pineda and senior midfielder Pascal Derwaritsch also scored for WVU.
WVU finished with seven assists on the night, the most since a 6-0 win over San Francisco on Aug. 30, 2015.
“Our response was outstanding,” WVU coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “Both times we conceded, our response was outstanding, and it was against a top-15 team in the country in Coastal Carolina. They’re a good team, and they’re going to win a lot of games. I thought our kids’ resiliency was like shades of a year ago. When we went behind, we were explosive going forward.
“Scoring goals in soccer is the hardest thing to do, but I thought, tonight, we were really, really good.”
The Mountaineers (3-1-1) fell behind early when Coastal Carolina (2-2) opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when a Chanticleers’ attacker cashed in on a breakaway toward the goal. From there, though, WVU turned its offensive power into overdrive.
First, Robles Grajera tied the match in the 37th minute when he scored off a Chanticleer turnover. Then, the Burgos, Spain, native bagged his second of the night just 32 seconds later when junior defender Kevin Morris and freshman midfielder Luke McCormick teamed up to send a cross into the box, which Robles Grajera headed in to give West Virginia a 2-1 lead.
Moments later, it was Muriel Albino’s turn, as he scored from the back post on another ball sent in by McCormick, who was set up by senior defender Sebastian Garcia-Herreros.
WVU led, 3-1, at the half.
The scoring didn’t stop after the two squads returned from the locker rooms, either. In the 48th minute, CCU answered with a penalty-kick goal to cut the Mountaineers’ lead to 3-2. But WVU tallied a well-timed goal by Pineda, who was assisted by freshman forward Brian Bond and junior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda, before Derwaritsch added on late off a corner kick in the 75th minute.
WVU registered 16 shots on the night and limited the Chanticleers to just eight. WVU also held a sizeable advantage in corner kicks, 11-1.
With the win, the Mountaineers have now defeated a top-25 opponent in 12 of the last 14 seasons under LeBlanc. It’s also the first time the team has scored five goals in a game since a 5-2 win over SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 20, 2018, in Morgantown. Additionally, WVU has now won its last 24 matches when scoring two or more goals.
“We were on another level this evening,” LeBlanc added. “Besides the two goals we gave up, it’s arguably one of the best performances we’ve had in my 14 years here. It was that good.”
Next up, the Mountaineers hit the road for a match at Cincinnati on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Kickoff at Getler Stadium in Cincinnati is set for 7 p.m. ET.