VIENNA - Wheeling Jesuit had a tough time getting to its match at Ohio Valley University on Wednesday afternoon, but when the Cardinal men finally did head coach James Regan's squad pitched its third successive shutout and blanked the host Fighting Scots, 4-0.
The WJU charter bus was nearing the Interstate 77 bridge when a car zoomed from the on ramp, flew past another vehicle and cut the bus driver off, who tried to stop but smashed into the back of the car only to have it speed away for a hit-and-run.
The start of the contest was delayed for more than an hour, but the Cardinals (3-2) got the only goal they ended up needing in the 17th minute from the foot of Luke Roan. Ignacio Fernandez started a run on the far side of the field and made a pass to Carlos Avila, who was able to send the ball across the pitch where Roan was waiting. He managed to beat Fighting Scot keeper D'Arcy Turner, who was credited with 10 saves, by sneaking it just past the left post.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Wheeling Jesuit's Philip Mshelbwala heads the ball away from Ohio Valley University's Christian Breaux Wednesday. Mshelbwala had one of four Jesuit goals as the Cardinals scored a 4-0 victory.
"We're making progress. There is a certain way we want to play and we're getting it," said OVU head coach Dan Lyons. "It's just trying to get the guys to understand about playing simple.
"We're trying to get the guys to see the benefits of that. In spurts they play that way and you see it. We're looking for consistency."
Wheeling Jesuit, which plays host to Davis & Elkins at 2 p.m. Saturday, was dominant in the match as it showed off a fine possession game and allowed the Fighting Scots just one shot versus starting keeper Cody Thompson, who was replaced late by Remee Naja.
"We'll do more work on formations," Lyons added about practice for the next week before OVU (0-4) welcomes Urbana University to town at 4 p.m. next Wednesday.
"The thing is the more we communicate the less we work and you could see in this game when we weren't communicating and talking defensively we worked harder than we needed to."
Former Wood County Christian standout Seth Tackett was whistled for a penalty in the box during the 26th minute of action against Nicolay Netskar. That allowed the Cardinals to take a commanding 2-0 cushion when Fernandez scored on the penalty kick.
OVU, which trailed 2-0 at intermission, got its only shot in the eighth minute of action from Nicholas Nunes, but it was too wide.
The Fighting Scots tried to set up a goal late in the first half, but a one-touch through ball by Dalton Turner went just a little long and Thompson was able to scoop it up before OVU's Christian Breaux could reach it. Earlier in the opening 45 minutes, OVU's Gabe Strause - a former prep teammate of Tackett's - sent a ball into the Cardinal box. However, WJU's J.J. Hawkshaw was able to clear it before Zach Rohrberg could get to it.
Wheeling Jesuit nearly had a 3-0 cushion at the break, but a shot by Vincent Faraji clanged off the post.
Nigerian Philip Mshelbwala finally put the visitors ahead 3-0 when he scored from a Fernandez feed in the 73rd minute. Fernandez was on the far side of the field and sent a perfect pass across to the far post where Mshelbwala was waiting. The junior tallied his first goal of the season when he put his foot in the air and redirected the ball into the net.
The Cardinals added their final tally in the 84th minute via an unassisted goal from Cody Coven.