West Virginia senior forward Ike Swiger (13) sets up a kick against an Ohio State defender at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., on Sept. 10, 2021.

West Virginia senior forward Ike Swiger (13) sets up a kick against an Ohio State defender at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., on Sept. 10, 2021. 

In front of the second-largest crowd at a men’s soccer game in WVU history, the No. 5 men’s soccer team defeated Ohio State, 1-0, on Friday night. 

Ohio State (1-3-1) suffered two losses during its visit to Morgantown. First, the Buckeyes had difficulty with transportation as their bus got stuck on a hill on University Avenue on Thursday. Second, West Virginia (4-0-1) flashed its dominance yet again on the soccer pitch. 

It was Kevin Morris who was able to score a header off of a corner from Frederik Jorgensen in the third minute of the match to give the Mountaineers the win. 

“It was a good delivery from Fred [Jorgensen],” Morris said. “I was able to put it in the back of the net and celebrate with the (Mountaineer) Maniacs in the corner.”

After that immediate goal, the Mountaineers never gave up their dominant stretch of play. Throughout the first half, the team kept Ohio State from challenging goalkeeper Steven Tekesky.

It was West Virginia that generated most of the chances, with Pau Jimenez Albelda and Ryan Baer almost adding to the tally for the Mountaineers. While they were unable to add another goal, West Virginia came out with the clean sheet, something that head coach Dan Stratford values very much. 

“It was incredibly pleasing to get another clean sheet, and if we have to win with a set piece then no problem at all,” Stratford said.

In the second half, Tekesky and Ohio State keeper Keagan McLaughlin were each challenged once apiece, with Adam Burchell challenging the Buckeyes’ goalie and Joakim Jahnsen forcing the Mountaineer into making a good save. 

With another win under his belt, Stratford was quick to credit the tenacious Mountaineer fanbase that showed up. 

“We turned up an hour before kickoff, and there’s already three or four hundred people here; that’s unheard of,” Stratford said. “Truly, this is becoming one of the best atmospheres in men’s soccer in the country.”

The final attendance for the match was 2,443 fans making it the second-largest crowd for a men’s soccer match in WVU men’s soccer history. 

Throughout the match, it became clear that Stratford’s team was not the most energized as they have now played 200 minutes of soccer in the past five days. This became something that the squad was concerned about, particularly in their back line with a massive match against Marshall looming next Friday. 

“We knew going into this match that we had to manage it; we played 110 minutes the other day, we played three days before that, and they played 90 minutes in that game as well,” Stratford said. “We’re tracking the GPS and they’re running marathons every three days.”

West Virginia is back on the road with a match on Sept. 17 against Marshall. The match is set for 7 p.m.