The victory was the third straight for the Mountaineers, who improved to 9-6-1.
“We’ve had to become more of a resilient squad,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We’ve lost some guys to injury and we’ve asked some guys to step up and play bigger roles and bigger parts. I think they’ve done that. As the year has gone on, we have settled in to our team and settled in to our style.”
On WVU’s first chance of the match sophomore Mike Desiderio netted his second goal of the season, flicking a free kick from senior Andy Bevin to the right of Penn goalkeeper Max Polkinhorne. Bevin drew a foul on the left side of the pitch and sent in a perfect in-swinger from 30 yards out.
“We’ve worked on set pieces quite a bit,” LeBlanc said. “We’ve had a lot of them this season that we haven’t quite executed. It was fantastic service by Andy and a great run by Mike.”
Senior goalkeeper Lee Johnston made one save in his fourth win of the season and his third shutout of the season.
Penn had a chance in the 56th minute after breaking through the WVU defense, but a Mountaineer junior Francio Henry was able to slide and poke the ball out of bounds. Two minutes later Penn’s Duke Lacroix was fed a pass to the far left post, but narrowly missed the redirection shot and the ball went out of bounds for a goal kick.
Forrest Clancy took Penn’s first shot on goal in the 79th minute, ripping a shot from 25 yards out that was easily scooped up by Johnston.
West Virginia returns to action for the final home game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 1 against Buffalo at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kick off is set for noon. Admission to the match will be free courtesy of United Bank, while the game also serves as Senior Day. Seniors Andy Bevin, Paul Ehrenworth and Lee Johnston will be recognized prior to kickoff.