MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 12 West Virginia University men’s soccer team used three first half goals en route to a 4-1 victory over Richmond in front of 1,075 fans on Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
WVU (3-2-1) dominated the pace of play and possession, outshooting Richmond (0-4-1) 26-5 and taking 11 corner kicks to Richmond’s two.
Junior Shadow Sebele scored the eventual game-winning goal and took a game high six shots, while freshman Andy Bevin continued his torrid scoring pace with two goals on five shots. Richmond was led by Luis Perez who had a goal on two shots.
“I’m upset that we gave up the goal, but we played pretty well,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “It was a dominant effort and if not for a couple of crossbars the score is even more. We played pretty well tonight.”
The 26 shots recorded ties for fourth best all-time in the WVU record books and is the most the Mountaineers have recorded since taking 27 against Pitt in 2007. The record stands at 35 shots against Canisius in 1995.
Sebele also recorded an assist and now has 18 for his career, moving him past former All-American Andy Wright for sole possession of second place. Current volunteer coach Dan Stratford holds the all-time career record with 27 assists from 2004-07.
“Tonight was the first night we really saw him come to play,” LeBlanc says of Sebele. “He’s been a little slow off the mark to start the season and tonight he really played well. We saw the brilliance he brings to the table and a lot of it started with his defending.”
After 12 minutes of pressing play from WVU, Bevin scored his fourth goal of the season in the 12th minute on a shot from 25 yards out that snuck inside the right post to take the early 1-0 lead. Junior midfielder Peabo Doue played the through ball to Bevin to pick up his first assist of the season.
WVU struck again on a bending shot by Sebele from 20 yards out in the 17th minute. Sebele received a pass from Bevin, who was working on a give-and-go with senior Raymon Gaddis, beat a defender and ripped a left-footed shot that went just between the crossbar and Richmond keeper Chris Grover.
Junior Peabo Doue scored his first goal of the season in the 20th minute on a passes from juniors Uwem Etuk and Travis Pittman. Doue brought the ball around a challenging keeper and was able to finish on the open net from the right side of the goal.
West Virginia continued the pressure in the second half. Pittman took a shot from 15 yards out that deflected off the crossbar and out of play. Pittman had another chance in the 52nd minute as he brought the ball from left to right in the box and ripped a bending shot that Grover was able to hold on to.
Bevin added his second of the evening in the 55th minute when Pittman played a cross to Sebele, who took a shot that was blocked by Grover with the rebound going right to the feet of Bevin who was in the goalmouth for the tap in.
Perez broke the shutout in the 59th minute with a shot off a turnover from 20 yards out that WVU junior keeper Justin Holmes was not able to see because of screen. The goal was Perez’s second of the season.
“It was a turnover and we have to be better than that,” LeBlanc commented on the goal. “Credit to the kid, he pounced on a bad turnover in the wrong part of the field and hit it. Justin never saw it. If we’re going to learn anything out of this it is that we need to be better in those situations.”
Junior Eric Schoenle finished the WVU offensive attack with headers in the 67th and 68th minutes that were both cleared off the goal line by Richmond defenders.
Holmes made one save in the victory, while Grover made nine saves and allowed four goals in his first game of the season.
WVU returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 3:30 p.m., with a match against Duquesne at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.