Capping a weekend of unbridled joy for West Virginia fans, the WVU men’s soccer team won the MAC Championship for the first time in program history with a 1-0 win over Bowling Green on Sunday afternoon in Akron, Ohio.
Freshman Luke McCormick headed home a late winner off a deflection in the 86th minute, rewarding a stout defensive performance. Bowling Green outshot WVU 10-6 but goalkeeper Steven Tekesky saved all five shots the Falcons put on target.
The win guarantees an NCAA tournament berth for the Mountaineers, who were ranked 107 in the most recent RPI rankings. WVU will learn where it lands in the bracket on Monday, Nov. 18.
This is the first time the Mountaineers have made the NCAA tournament in successive years since they appeared in it three years in a row, 2005-2007.
WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, will host the 2019 NCAA men’s soccer championship, December 13-15.
Four Mountaineers made up the MAC Championship All-Tournament Team, including an MVP title for Tekesky. The junior goalkeeper recorded 11 saves and two clean in the tournament; his five-save performance in the final secured a shutout for the Mountaineers.
Sophomore midfielder Josh Dimatteo was credited with the assist on the championship-winning goal and his two-goal performance in the semifinal round helped the Mountaineers advance. He was also named to the all-tourney team.
WVU finished the regular season ranked last in the six-team table, essentially making each of their three victories en route to the title major upsets. Bowling Green was the No. 4 seed heading into the tournament.
The Mountaineers traveled to Edwardsville, Illinois, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to take on SIU-Edwardsville, starting the tournament with a 1-0 victory.
Then, the team traveled to Akron for the championship weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium. WVU knocked off Western Michigan, 3-2, on Friday; the Broncos soundly defeated the Mountaineers 3-1 in Morgantown in October.
WVU exacted major revenge in the championship victory. The Falcons dominated the Mountaineers 3-0 on Oct. 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio.