The No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers men’s soccer team lost 2-1 against the Yale Bulldogs, conceding a late winning goal in their first ever meeting against the Ivy League squad on Friday.
The matchup was not as one-sided as Tuesday’s against American University, as Yale (1-0-2) came from behind in the last minutes to steal the win.
Like in the Tuesday match against The Eagles, the Mountaineers (2-3) scored first in the fourth minute, with sophomore left wingback Max Trethewey delivering a great cross into the box, scored by redshirt junior right wingback Sergio Ors Navarro.
The Mountaineers nearly doubled their lead in the 16th minute, but their goal was taken away after being ruled offsides.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the 38th minute when senior forward Paolo Carroll scored on a penalty kick, and the Mountaineers had a goal in the 40th minute taken away once again, ruled offsides.
The two teams played evenly throughout the second half, and it looked like the game would end in a tie. However, Yale’s Max Rogers, a sophomore midfielder broke the late draw, as his left-footed shot in the 88th minute gave Yale the lead.
The Mountaineers leading the Bulldogs in shots (13-6) and possession (70% to 30%) was not enough, as Yale withstood numerous WVU attacks in the final minutes to hold on to the 2-1 win.
Following the game, West Virginia head coach Dan Stratford was frustrated by the team’s continued trend of leading on the stat sheet but not the scoreboard.
“We didn’t do enough. We didn’t execute, we didn’t have that final finish to put the game away. But we’ve been here before, this is history repeating itself as far as we give up too many cheap goals and we don’t take enough of our chances,” Stratford said.
“And that part’s really hard because it’s execution, it’s mentality, it’s taking pride in those moments when we train them, when we practice them, and something has to shift in that mindset, because I’m getting a little tired, and I think that the players are going to get tired of hearing that, “well, we were the better team or we had more chances or we had more possession,” Stratford said.
“At some point something’s got to shift and we have to have this mentality that we’re going to win the game by the margins that we should.”
West Virginia will stay at home in its next match, hosting the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in its Sun Belt Conference opener and it’s first ever match as a member.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Morgantown, with U92 on the radio broadcast at 91.7 FM or at u92themoose.com.