Mountaineers Top Blue Demons
CHICAGO – A goal in the first half followed by two scores in the second propelled No. 8/14 West Virginia to a 3-0 win over DePaul on Sunday afternoon. The loss was the third straight for DePaul and dropped the Blue Demons to 1-3-0 in BIG EAST matches.
West Virginia (6-0-2, 3-0-1 BIG EAST) struck first off a header by Andy Wright. Dan Stratford started the action in the middle of the field and fed Matt Anstey on the right sideline. Anstey’s serve into the box found Wright at the near post and he directed the ball past Blue Demon keeper Brian Visser at 3:51.
With just over 20 minutes left in the first half, the Blue Demons couldn’t take advantage of a pair of free kick opportunities. On duplicate chances from the top of the penalty box, Brent Zang and Julian Chill just missed with their shots on goal. Zang’s attempt sailed just over the crossbar followed by Chill with a shot just wide of the left post.
DePaul (2-5-2, 1-3-0 BIG EAST) started the second half with urgency and nearly set up a game-tying goal early in the period. Erich Reichmann’s blast eight minutes into the period was knocked away on a nice save by West Virginia keeper Nick Noble to preserve the shutout.
The Mountaineers added a pair of insurance goals in the second half off the feet of Chris Wittig and Jarrod Smith. Wittig drilled a 35-yarder from the middle of the field at 63:03 to make the lead 2-0 before Smith took a pass from Jason Bristol and tapped in the uncontested one-timer at 89:44. Smith was also credited with the assist on Wittig’s goal to finish the afternoon with a goal and assist.
West Virginia outshot DePaul, 13-7, with both team taking a single corner kick. Visser finished the match with four saves while Noble made two stops for the Mountaineers.
DePaul steps out of BIG EAST action for a mid-week game against Northwestern. The Blue Demons and Wildcats tangle at Wish Field on Wednesday with a 3 p.m. kickoff.
Match Notes: The Blue Demons are now 17-12-5 in the last four-plus seasons at Wish Field… the shutout was the sixth of the season suffered by DePaul and the third in-a-row… West Virginia now leads the series, 2-0-0… the Mountaineers won the first meeting, 2-0, in Morgantown last season.