No. 4 WVU men’s soccer concedes late penalty to draw with Lehigh

Gold and Blue Nation

West Virginia’s near-immediate goal didn’t quite produce the momentum needed for the fourth-ranked Mountaineers to take a road win as they played to a 1-1 draw at Lehigh on Tuesday.

Yoran Popovic wasted no time in the match, putting the first score on the board after just 59 seconds ticked off the clock. The Mountaineers kept the advantage for 74 more minutes until Lehigh’s Josh Luchini knotted the match up on a penalty kick — the equalizer that forced the ultimate draw.

Popovic’s score came with some fireworks, as his score caused a tie-up in front of the net. As two Lehigh defenders converged on Popovic in front of the net, one happened to collide with goalkeeper Noah Sutherland. That took the keeper out of the match and forced the subbing on of Blake Koski.

The Mountaineers maintained the attacking advantage through most of the game, launching 25 total shots to the Lehigh net to the hosts’ 10. Much of the Mountaineers’ offensive effort was thwarted by a struggle to stay onside, as they were whistled for six offsides through the match.

The tides shifted late in the second half as Lehigh began an attacking opportunity. WVU goalie Steven Tekesky was called for a foul inside the penalty box as he slid at a Lehigh forward, paving the way for Luchini’s game-tying penalty.

This non-conference tie is the second straight draw for the Mountaineers. This is the longest winless streak of the season, however the squad remains unbeaten through 10 games with a record of 6-0-4.

The No. 4 Mountaineers stay on the road for their next match as they return to MAC play at Northern Illinois. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET at the Huskies’ NIU Soccer and Track and Field Complex.

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