Hilltoppers soccer battles Charleston in MEC showdown

By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer
 
West Liberty soccer teams will host a doubleheader this weekend in a matchup against the University of Charleston. The Lady Toppers will look to add another tally in the win column, as the men’s team will seek to knock off the defending National Champions. 

As of Sept. 29, our Lady Toppers hold a record of 2-4-2, good enough for third place in the Mountain East Conference North Division. After a slow start to the season, WLU finally earned their first win against Urbana University last Thursday. 
 
The Hartnell twins heavily influenced the Black and Gold win against Urbana. Junior forward, Layne Hartnell, scored one of the two goals last Thursday, and assisted teammate Nicole Lolua with the other. Senior goalkeeper, Lauren Hartnell, blanked the Lady Blue Knights of Urbana with three saves. 
 
University of Charleston will be a tough matchup for Lauren Hartnell and the Lady Toppers defensively. The Lady Golden Eagles of Charleston average 15.3 shots per game this season. Furthermore, the women’s soccer team averages 1.25 goals per game. 
 
As of Sept. 29, our Lady Toppers are 2-0-1 on their home turf. For West Liberty to pull out a win this Sunday, WLU will need all the fan support they can get against an offensively-minded Charleston team.
 
The second game in Sunday’s doubleheader will see the men squads of West Liberty and Charleston matchup. The Hilltoppers are facing a tall order as the Black and Gold seek to earn a win against the defending National Champions. 
 
The Hilltoppers continue their home stretch this weekend and as of Sept. 29, WLU currently sits towards the bottom of the MEC Conference with a 2-6 record. West Liberty did score a huge victory last weekend against West Virginia Wesleyan, the defending MEC champions. 
 
The game-winning goal was scored by junior midfielder, Chaz Rodeheaver, to add his second goal of the season. The Alderson-Broaddus transfer boosts a .167-shot percentage with eight shots on goal this season. 
 
The Black and Gold will seek to score an upset against the Golden Eagles. However, this will be a tough task to do against a defensive-minded Charleston team. The Golden Eagles opponents were held scoreless until their 3-2 road win against Wheeling Jesuit on Sept. 23. 
 
Junior goalkeeper, Alvaro Unanua Dean, has been a big reason why the Golden Eagles sit on top of the MEC Conference this season. Unanua has posted seven shutouts, and eight saves on a .450-save percentage thus far into the season. 
 
The University of Charleston will need his strong play as the Golden Eagles have their eyes set on another National Championship. However, with home-field advantage, maybe the Hilltoppers can rattle the Golden Eagles on the road. 
 
The women and men’s games start at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively. You can access live stats by going to hilltoppersports.com
 
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com