Blue Hens strong defense shows in 1-0 win vs. #23 West Virginia
Managing Sports Editor
The Blue Hens men’s soccer team had a lot to celebrate Monday night after a hard-fought 1-0 win against the 23rd ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. This is the Hen’s first win over a ranked team since 2015 and its eighth in school history.
“I said to them this will be, and is, one of my proudest moments in the 14 years I’ve been here,” Head Coach Ian Hennessy said. “We’ve been to three [NCAA Tournaments], had some great players, MLS, but tonight, this tonight, was one of my proudest moments.”
The game’s lone goal came from Rex Twum on a short pass from classmate Ryan Mertz. Twum knotted the ball in the net from 10 yards away, scoring the first goal of his Blue Hens career.
“I was so happy (on his goal). I didn’t know what to do,” Twum said.
In the second half, West Virginia was awarded a penalty shot after a Delaware foul in the 68th minute. Pascal Derwaritsch took the shot for WVU, but sophomore goalie Renan Thomazo made a miraculous diving save. Thomazo would collect four more saves in the night to help secure the victory.
Hennessy said that penalty save was “huge.”
“I think the wheels are about to come off, can we just get home and go over the line, and then Renan comes up with a massive penalty save,” Hennessy said.
Both teams had the same number of shots taken (eight), saves (five) and corners (four). Delaware committed 15 fouls to WVU’s eight.
This was a big win for the Blue Hens, especially coming off of the disappointing 5-0 loss at Villanova on Friday.
“To be beaten 5-0 and to come back and beat a ranked team, go make sense of that,” Hennessy said.
“ I can’t.”
The difference that Hennessy saw Monday was his team’s hunger.
“It’s not about how much talent you have, it’s about how much hunger you have, and there’s a lot of truth to that saying,” Hennessy said. “Tonight we had a game plan. We stuck to it. We worked. We knew we were going to be under the cash, on our heels a little bit, and that meant nothing to them,” Hennessy said.
Delaware will start up CAA play on Friday when it travels to Williamsburg to face William and Mary.