BUCKHANNON — Going into Wednesday’s match with Davis and Elkins College in the season finale at Culpepper Stadium, the West Virginia Wesleyan College’s men’s soccer team had a chance to host a first round Mountain East Conference Tournament game with a win, but the Bobcats fell short 1-0.
In the back-and-forth physical match, both sides had their chances. The first came in the ninth minute when Bobcat keeper Logan Nelson left his box to manage a back pass 30 yards from net and kicked it straight to the Senators’ Mohamed Elshafie who returned the kick toward an open goal. Nelson raced back, dove, and with a couple of fingertips pushed the ball away where it caromed off the right post.
The next opportunity was made by the Bobcats on a set piece outside the left side of the box. Sinasi Emre Deniz delivered a looping cross to the head of Max Evans who raced forward from four yards out. Evans hit a hard forehead shot right at goal but the Senators’ keeper Grant Wyles got a forearm touch and the ball went straight up, hit the cross bar, and looked to have gone across the goal line. The assistant referee on the far side decided otherwise.
The Senators got on the board in the 32nd minute with a goal by Johan Magana and the half ended 1-0.
The intensity of the match exploded in the second half with Wesleyan controlling much of the pitch, taking 16 of its 20 total shots in the 45-minute period. Davis and Elkins amassed six yellow cards in the same time frame.
The Bobcats would have one final chance when, with 3:30 to play, Deniz went down in the box to set up a penalty kick try which Deniz took, but his shot to the right side of goal was stopped by Wyles.
The Bobcats enter the MEC tournament as the No. 5 seed and will travel to 4th-seeded Concord University on Sunday, Nov. 5 for a 4 p.m. kickoff.