MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In front of a raucous record-setting 3,147 fans, the No. 5 West Virginia University men’s soccer team defeated No. 1 Marshall, 5-2, in the Mountain State Derby on Wednesday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers remain unbeaten and improve to 10-0-4 and 3-0-3 in the Sun Belt while the Thundering Herd’s undefeated season comes to an end as they fall to 12-1-0 and 5-1-0 in conference action.
It is the first win over a No. 1 team for West Virginia since defeating top-ranked UConn on Oct. 18, 2011.
The five goals for the Mountaineers match the number of goals that Marshall had given up all year in 12 previous games.
Sophomore Marcus Caldeira registered a hat trick, the first for a WVU player since Andy Bevin against Buffalo in 2014. Senior Sergio Ors Navarro found the back of the net for the fifth time this season while freshman Constantinos Christou scored his first career goal.
Senior Luke McCormick picked up his 20th career assist, just the fourth player in program history to reach that mark. Junior Otto Ollikainen and senior Yutaro Tsukada also added assists as did senior goalkeeper Jackson Lee, the first of his career. Lee also added two saves against the top offense in the nation.
Marshall jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, but it was not long before WVU took control as the Mountaineers scored three goals in one minute and 45 seconds to take a 3-1 lead by the 13th minute.
Ors Navarro got the Mountaineers on the board in the 11th minute, executing a give-and-go with Luke McCormick as the two swapped roles from McCormick’s goal last Thursday against South Carolina.
Caldeira then scored two goals in 26 seconds, first receiving a long pass from Lee before slotting the ball past the keeper. He then followed that up by linking up with Ollikainen after Marshall turned the ball over near the box.
Marshall got one goal back in the 18th minute and came inches away from tying things up just before the half, but junior Frederik Jorgensen made the defensive save of the season, sliding in and clearing the ball off the line after it got over Lee’s head.
In the second half, the Mountaineer defense stepped their game up and kept the top scoring offense in the nation out of the net, only allowing four shots after the break, just one of which was on target.
Caldeira completed his hat trick in the 65th minute, bending a left-footed shot into the top left corner of the net. Christou put the exclamation point on the match with his first-career goal in the 74th minute. The Marshall defender got a toe on it, but the ball dipped down into the net sending the crowd into a frenzy once again.
Overall, West Virginia outshot the Thundering Herd, 19-11, including a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Mountaineers also had a 7-5 edge in corner kicks.
WVU will return to action on Sunday on the road at Coastal Carolina. Kickoff from Conway, South Carolina is set for 7 p.m.
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