PITTSBURGH, Pa. – No. 18 West Virginia used two successful penalty kicks from midfielder Shadow Sebele to shutout Pitt 2-0 at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Wednesday evening.
"We're starting to get into more of a rhythm and finding our feet a little bit," coach Marlon LeBlanc says.
"It helps now that we're playing two games a week instead of two games in 36 hours. Overall our team effort was excellent and the boys played very well."
Sebele struck his first penalty kick in 58th minute to the left of Pitt keeper Lee Johnston after Shane Flowers of Pitt was called for a handball inside the goal box in the middle of a plethora of Panther defenders.
"It was a big win. Every three points we can get in the BIG EAST is big," Sebele says. "Pitt was a tough team and it took us awhile to break them down, but we finally did."
In the 75th minute, Sebele pushed a penalty kick to the right of Johnston to give WVU the 2-0 lead. Forward Peabo Doue was making a break to the goal when he was taken down by Pitt’s Alex Harrison to draw the penalty kick.
"It was tough because I thought he was going to go the same way that he went before," Sebele says. "I knew I was going to finish that way, so I stuck with it."
Sebele is now second on the team with five goals this season, while forward Andy Bevin continues to lead with six.
The Mountaineers improve to 7-4-1 overall, including a 3-1-0 mark in BIG EAST play. Pitt fell to 4-8-1 and a 2-2-0 record in conference play.
It didn’t take long for the Mountaineers to mount an offensive attack as Bevin rang a shot off the left post from 20 yards out just two minutes into the match.
Midfielder Travis Pittman finished with two first half shots, including an opportunity in the 30th minute that just went over the right side of the Pitt goal.
Pittman had another key chance in the 46th minute for WVU’s first shot on-goal. Pittman took a shot from 20 yards out that Johnston made a leaping punch save on.
The Mountaineers hit another post in the 57th minute when Sebele sent a header off the crossbar after a cross from Doue.
Midfielder Allan Flott had a great chance in the 67th minute that Johnston made a diving punch save on that led to a shot off a corner kick by Bevin that Johnston corralled.
With the help of the WVU backline, goalkeeper Justin Holmes recorded his third-straight shutout, facing no shots on-goal. Johnston made five stops for Pitt.
West Virginia finished with a 20-4 shot advantage, including a 7-0 edge in shots on-goal. WVU also led in corner kicks (7-1) and fouls (11-10).
Sebele took a game-high six shots, while Pittman took four shots. Four different players attempted shots for Pitt.
WVU continues BIG EAST play at Marquette on Saturday, Oct. 15. The game will kick off at 8:05 p.m., at Valley Fields.