Caldera goal sends WVU to SBC semis
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team earned a 1-0 win over Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt Championship quarterfinals Sunday afternoon at the Bell Soccer Complex.
Freshman forward Marcus Caldeira scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute to send the fourth-seeded Mountaineers (7-6-4) to the semifinals. He also extended WVU’s unbeaten streak to eight matches.
A defensive-minded first half featured just five shots in total. The No. 5-seeded Chanticleers (5-5-6) hit the crossbar on a long shot in the 26th minute, while West Virginia’s best chance came from the foot of the senior forward from fifth-year Adam Burchell, who sent a hard shot wide.
Both teams were left scoreless after 45 minutes.
In the second half, junior striker Yutaro Tsukada had two shots, including one near the goal in the 66th minute. This led to Caldera being counted out in the 70th. The threat started when Burchell charged into the offensive zone and found Caldeira, who finished with his left foot.
The goal marked the native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the fifth of the year, including his third winner.
WVU had to make a final stand in the 84th minute. Luckily, junior goaltender Jackson Lee was there to make a diving save to keep the Mountaineers up front, the last of his three saves on the day.
West Virginia finished with a 10-7 advantage in shooting, including 7-5 in the second half. Tsukada had three shots to lead the team, while Caldeira and redshirt senior midfielder/defender Dyon Dromers each had two.
With the win, the Mountaineers improved to 4-1-2 all-time against Coastal. The team also improved to 20-17-3 in program history in conference tournaments.
Additionally, the win gave coach Dan Stratford his first win in a conference tournament during his tenure as head coach at WVU.
Next, West Virginia advances to the Sun Belt Semifinals on Wednesday, November 9 in Lexington. The Mountaineers will face the winner of a quarterfinal game between No. 1 Kentucky and No. 8 South Carolina.
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