The rivalry between West Virginia and Pittsburgh area sports fans ran deep. Through the college football series ended a few years ago, soccer picked up the mantle tonight as the West Virginia Chaos took on and defeated the NPSL’s Fort Pitt Regiment 1-0 at Charleston’s Schoenbaum Stadium.
It was a historic night for West Virginia soccer fans as this marked the first US Open Cup game ever played in Mountain State, and the Chaos are the first team from the state to ever qualify.
The Chaos struck early as Daniel Smee headed in a corner kick from Daniel Stratford in the 5th minute. The clubs then went back-and-forth pushing through the other’s defense, then having to settle for a corner and attempting to knock in another set piece. Alas, neither team could get past the keeper and the half would end 1-0 in favor of the Chaos.
Tactics changed in the second half as the Chaos collapsed in, basically parked the bus and gave Fort Pitt free reign with possession. Unfortunately, the Regiment’s early season form showed its weaknesses as the team struggled to put passes together, impairing Fort Pitt’s attack. Still, West Virginia keeper Sean Teepen was forced to make a number saves early in the half highlighted in the 58th minute when he punched away a free kick from 30 yards out, then fought off the Regiment’s back-to-back corner kicks.
As fatigue set in late, play opened up for Fort Pitt as they fought for the equalizer but the scoreline would hold.
The West Virginia-Pittsburgh series doesn’t stop here as now the Chaos will travel to face the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the Highmark Stadium in Round 2 on Wednesday, May 20.