The Western Michigan University men’s soccer team earned a 1-1 draw at home Saturday against a West Virginia team considered to be the class of the Mid-American Conference.
“I think if we’d sat down this morning and said we’d get a 1-1 tie at home with the number 17th ranked team in the country we’d have taken it in a heartbeat,” said Head Coach Stu Riddle.
Senior forward Shane Lyons scored an early first-half goal and the broncos were able to control the ball for a good deal of the first half, putting pressure on the mountaineers of West Virginia.
“From the beginning of the game the early goal really set the pace and tone of the game. We rode that momentum the entire time,” said Lyons.
The goal marked the fourth for Lyons in as many games. Despite his recently being named MAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Week, Lyons is quick to point out that all his opportunities come from the hard play of his teammates.
Coach Riddle knows that it is one thing to get the opportunities and another thing to deliver goals the way Lyons has been doing.
“They’re the hardest thing to find in soccer, a consistent goal-scorer,” said Riddle.
West Virginia was able to tie the game with a second-half goal. Even though many of the broncos were exhausted they held on through both overtimes and got a good result.
“You’ve got to …be realistic and say a team like West Virginia…they’ve got a lot more depth than a lot of other teams in the country… they put us under a lot of pressure but I thought we handled it well,” said Riddle.
The draw brings WMU’s record to 8-2-2. Next up for the broncos is another conference foe as they travel to Bowling Green this Friday for a 7 p.m. game.