Lions Tamed

Top ten West Virginia made a happy homecoming for head coach Marlon LeBlanc as the Mountaineers rallied for a 2-1 soccer victory over Penn State on Wednesday.

LeBlanc, who played for and coached the Nittany Lions, had to have a lot of emotions churning as his WVU squad played his former team. West Virginia made it a happy ending, however, by tallying two second-half goals to come up with the win.

Penn State struck first on a sharply-angled shot at 40:04 of the first half, and made that stand up until halftime. The 1-0 deficit was the first West Virginia has been on the short end of all season.

The second half, however, was more to the Mountaineers' liking. At 61:11, Paul Cunningham headed in a corner kick from Dan Stratford that first deflected off the hands of Penn State goalkeeper Taylor Conrad to tie the score at 1-1, and just four minutes later the Mountaineers took the lead, with Cunnigham again figuring in the play. He drilled a shot that deflected off the right goalpost, but teammate Andy Wright was on the spot to collect the rebound and bury it for the game winner.

The game was an offensive up and down affair, with each team mounting several good scoring chances. West Virginia had 15 shots, with sx of them on goal, while Penn State had 17 and 10. That made for a busy night for West Virginia keeper Nick Noble, who tallied nine saves.

The win was WVU's first over the Nittany Lions since 1973.

West Virginia will work to keep its place in the top ten when it travels to UConn for a 7:00 p.m. match on Saturday, Sept. 30.


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