The No. 4 West Virginia men’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches with an emphatic, 4-0, win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon.
It was once again Kevin Morris who opened up the scoring from a corner, with a clever routine seeing Frederik Jorgensen receive the corner short and put a perfect ball on the head of Morris in the 33rd-minute.
The Mountaineers (6-0-2) continued the scoring in the 50th-minute, with Jorgensen being played in by a ball from Pau Jimenez Albelda and slotting the ball past the Bonnies’ keeper Trevor Wilson.
The final minute of the match saw West Virginia double its lead, as Yoran Popovic scored a poacher’s goal in the six-yard box while Ryan Crooks took the impending kickoff from the Bonnies and went on an incredible solo run before curling a strike into the bottom left corner of Wilson’s net. The goals were officially listed as nine seconds apart.
The Mountaineers proved that they are deserving of their No. 4 national ranking, but coach Dan Stratford was not all the way satisfied with his team’s performance against an inferior opponent.
“It was a little bit below our standards, especially in the first half,” Stratford said. “With the level of dominance that we displayed, the game has to be over at halftime.”
Overall, West Virginia had the best of the play and could have scored a few more goals. Popovic’s goal became his third in three matches, while Morris got his second of the season once again through the air. Jorgensen added his second tally of the year while Crooks made his first collegiate goal an unforgettable one.
Stratford noted that many of the Mountaineers are finding their strides at the right time of the season, as Akron looms in Mid American Conference play in just five days.
“We were optimistic about (Popovic) coming in that he could be our starting striker, and I think he’s showing that more and more,” Stratford said.
The final stats read 10 shots on goal for West Virginia against two for the Bonnies, but calling them shots on goal for St. Bonaventure is somewhat misleading as Steven Tekesky was never put under pressure. Wilson finished with six saves in the match.
West Virginia will head into conference play with an edge given the ending of its last campaign.
“I want the players to have a chip on their shoulder; I want the players to have an edge,” Stratford said. “We’ve had a great start, but there’s still more work to do to guarantee that we’re an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. We’re coming up on halfway here, but there’s still plenty of work to do.
The Mountaineers will continue play once again from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium when they host Akron on Sept. 30. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.