West Virginia men’s soccer earned its first win of the season after taking a 2-0 victory over Robert Morris on Thursday, 2-0.
Dyon Dromers put the first goal on the board just two minutes into the contest off a corner kick, finishing a header from defender Aaron Denk Gracia. WVU kept the advantage throughout the game, but it took them another 77 minutes before Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi added the insurance to seal the win.
“We have really big guys in the back and the midfield, and one striker that’s big. We haven’t scored a lot of goals last year off set pieces, but I guess this year we need to score more,” Dromers said. “And like you saw, we started off well today with a goal off a corner.”
The Mountaineers were in control for the majority of the physical contest, keeping a 12 shot advantage to three from Robert Morris’s three. WVU also brought the physicality, getting called for 14 fouls. RMU were only charged with six, but one resulted in a yellow card against Gal Ben Dayan.
“It would have been nice to capitalize on some of those other chances we had early in the first half, but I just said to the guys, we turned up here and clearly they’ve had a lot of rain in the last couple of weeks, and the field is struggling a bit I have to say,” Stratford said. “They had a gameplan, they wanted to slow the game down, it was 90-plus degrees out and we’re kicking off at 4 o’clock. So I just gave the guys all the excuses there after the final whistle, and applauded them and complimented them for not letting that be the difference today.”
West Virginia was all hands on deck for this one — Coach Dan Stratford sent 21 players on the pitch throughout the contest, as all but two earn minutes.
The win moves West Virginia to 1-0 on the season after the opener. That makes Stratford 2-0 in season openers at the Mountaineers’ helm.
“Today is always a lottery in men’s soccer,” Stratford said. “Most of the country are playing today, there’s nerves, there’s expectations, there’s anxiety going into the first game of the season, so you take any win on day one.”
Robert Morris falls to 0-1 to start its campaign. It is also the ninth straight loss for the Colonials against the Mountaineers dating back to 1998.
West Virginia returns home for its next clash on Monday when they face No. 3 Pitt at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.