Men's soccer Broncos headed to MAC Championship

contact: Kristin Keirns
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The No. 1 seed Western Michigan University men's soccer team secured a spot in the Mid-American Conference Championship game with a 1-0 victory over No. 4 seed West Virginia in the tournament semifinals Friday.

WMU will face No. 2 seed Akron at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the WMU Soccer Complex, 4502 Campus Drive, in Kalamazoo. Tickets are $10 and $5 for youth in grades 8 and lower. They are available at the game or in advance at wmubroncos.com/tickets. The matchup will be aired on ESPN3.

The Broncos enter the championship game ranked No. 4 in the nation, while the Akron Zips are ranked No. 7. WMU defeated Akron 1-0 in the regular-season meeting Oct. 7 in Kalamazoo.

Photo of the Bronco men's soccer team crouched together and kneeling on a soccer field with some players holding up their index fingers to signal No. 1.

The No. 1 seed WMU men's soccer team wins in the semifinals and advances to the MAC Championships. The Broncos are ranked No. 4 in the nation. (Photo by Ashley Huss)

About the semifinal game

WMU dominated the match against West Virginia, holding a 7-0 advantage on corner kicks and out-shooting the Mountaineers 20-3.

"It was a pretty solid performance from the men today," said WMU head coach Chad Wiseman, who was recognized as MAC Coach of the Year on Thursday. "I really feel like we were able to have the game played on our terms and we stayed disciplined. The postseason is about finding ways to advance and the men did that today."

The shutout was WMU's 13th of the season, setting a new program record, and upping the Broncos' overall record this season to 16-2-1.

Senior forward Jay McIntosh and fellow senior Brandon Bye led the Bronco attack, each taking four shots—two on goal—and testing West Virginia's defense throughout the day.

"Bye and McIntosh were a load today. They are just so physically imposing," Wiseman said. "We created several really good chances, credit West Virginia, they defended well and made plays to keep themselves in the game."

McIntosh finally broke through for his sixth goal of the season in the 75th minute, using his strength and size to hold off WVU's defenders and score unassisted from inside the 18-yard box for the eventual game-winning goal.

WMU redshirt senior goalkeeper Drew Shepherd came up with a huge diving save in the final minutes to preserve the victory, recording his 28th career shutout. Shepherd made three saves in the game.

Wiseman says the table is set for yet another top-10 showdown at the WMU Soccer Complex on Sunday—this time with a championship on the line.

"I expect the atmosphere to be incredible," he says. "Our University and community will be out in full force; it will be a game you won't want to miss."

Learn more about WMU men's soccer at wmubroncos.com.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.

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