WLU soccer looking for key wins in weekend doubleheader

By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer

As the regular season draws to a close at the end of the month, both WLU soccer teams will make its final push for postseason play. First up are the Mountains Lions of Concord University in this weekend’s doubleheader on the hilltop. 

In their first inaugural season in the Mountain East Conference, the West Liberty men’s soccer team has composed a 3-8-1 record as of Oct. 13. With less than a handful of games remaining and only two spots behind fourth place in the conference, Head Coach Thomas Olivier and his Hilltoppers hope to keep their playoffs dreams alive. 
To qualify for the MEC Tournament, teams must seed in the top four. A win this Sunday will pull WLU one step closer to their goal. 
Sophomore forward Waleed Cherif has been a key contributor on the offensive end for the Black and Gold in his first season on the Hilltop. Cherif leads the team in goals this season with three, and scored one of the four goals in the Hilltoppers win against West Virginia Wesleyan Oct. 4, the defending MEC champs. 
Concord swept West Liberty during their first matchup this season. Head Coach Steve Barrett and his Mountain Lions hope to do the same thing on the road this time around. Junior midfielder Maxime Ramioulle leads his team in goals this season with five. As Oct. 8, Ramioulle has a 167-percent shot percentage. 
The second game of this weekend’s doubleheader will see the women’s soccer teams face off. 
As of Oct. 8, WLU holds a record of 3-7-2. WLU is currently in third place in the North Division of the conference, which would qualify them for the MEC Tournament. Head Coach Barry Christmas hopes his Lady Toppers can earn some key wins and make it to the postseason for the first time in two seasons.
The Black and Gold have a chance to end their losing streak against Mountain Lions this season. Their last victory against Concord was on Sept. 30, 2015. 
Senior goalkeeper Lauren Hartnell will be key in this matchup against an offensive-minded Concord team. Hartnell has 39 saves for the season with an 84.8 percent save percentage. Hartnell has also earned MEC Defensive Player of the Week honors this season.
The 7-3-2 Concord team haven’t had a hard time keeping the ball out the goal this season. The Mountain Lions have 35 goals for the season which is the second most goals in the conference. Senior forward Pilar Elias has seven goals for the season, including two from their win last Sunday against Wheeling Jesuit. 
The men’s team takes the home field at 12:30 p.m., followed by the women’s team at 3 p.m.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com