Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Four unanswered goals, including three from junior Franck Tayou, led the West Virginia mens soccer team past visiting Xavier, 4-2, Thursday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

We have been down two goals before,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said.

Franck Tayou The guys did a great job of sticking to the game plan, and those three players that came in as substitutions made me look like I actually know what I am doing.”

The Mountaineers finished the match out-shooting Xavier 15-9, while also holding a 13-6 corner kick advantage. Tayou led all players with four shots, while sophomore Peabo Doue and senior Alex Silva each had two shots.

Tayous hat trick was the first since Jarrod Evans scored three against Delaware in 2004. It was also the first time a Mountaineer has recorded a hat trick in postseason tournament history.

Initially, the ‘Cinderella story Musketeers put a scare into the Mountaineers by scoring a goal in only the third minute of play to go up 1-0. James Getzen started the play with a corner kick that found the head of Luke Spencer. Spencer flicked the ball towards the net where James Queree got a head on it and sent it past WVU senior keeper Zach Johnson.

The Musketeers doubled its lead in the fifth minute when Xaviers Brandon Bucher crossed the ball into the center of the field that deflected off WVU junior defender Raymon Gaddis, past Johnson for an own goal.

We were rattled a little bit in the beginning,” LeBlanc said. The guys were almost too focused and too ready to start the game. For Xavier to get goals like that, it was tough.”

After a flurry of chances, including three corner kicks and two shots in the next two minutes by Xavier, West Virginia was able to take control for the remainder of the half.

Tayou scored his first goal in 23rd minute on a rebound off of Xaviers Justin Marshall save. Sophomore Travis Pittman started the play by sending a ball to Doue. Doue took a shot that went off of Marshall and right to the feet of Tayou who put the ball past Marshall.

Tayou struck again to tie the game at 2-2 in the 32nd minute when sophomore Shadow Sebele played the ball into the Xavier end of the field. Sebele then played a pass outside to sophomore Uwem Etuk, who was able to cross the ball into the middle. Tayou again finished his scoring chance past Marshall.

Before the period was over, the Mountaineers received an opportunity from freshman Allan Flott, who sent a blast in the 40th minute from about 40 yards out that Marshall bobbled, but was able to grab before it crossed the goal line.

Senior Dan Hagey then followed up with a chance in the 43rd minute off a Sebele corner that Hagey shot over the net.

The Mountaineers went into the half with a 10-5 shot advantage, as well as a 6-5 corner kick edge. Tayou led all players with three shots.

Tayou completed the hat trick only five minutes into the second half off another assist from Sebele. Sebele played the ball to Tayou who streaked down the left side and challenged Marshall who came out to play the ball. Tayou beat Marshall to the ball and flicked it into the open net to put West Virginia ahead. Tayou now has a team-leading nine goals this season, while Sebele leads the team with 11 assists.

Frank was huge for us,” said Johnson. He has a nose for the ball, and he used his size well.”

Uwem Etuk scored an insurance goal in the 81st minute after receiving a ball from Silva. Etuk put on a fantastic dribbling display before ripping a shot past Marshall for his second goal of the season.

The Mountaineers now take to the road to face No. 3 seed Akron in a second round match on Sunday, Nov. 21. The game will begin at 4 p.m. and be held at Lee Jackson Field. The Zips had a first-round bye in the tournament and are last years NCAA runner-ups.