Pucci put the Chaos in front for good off a setup from Ivanovic in the 78th minute of the 90-minute match for a 2-1 edge. Pucci took Ivanovic's pass on the right wing then dribbled toward the middle of the penalty box and uncorked a laser into the lower-right corner. The Chaos fended off the Piranhas in three minutes of stoppage time.
"We fought,'' said Pucci. "Every game we concede a goal in the first half and we got a little bit upset about it. [Virginia Beach] traveled seven hours to come up here so we went 100 percent. We just went after every ball.''
Chaos keeper Tyler Atwell turned in six saves, including a diving stop in the second half. Virginia Beach's Peter Pearson tallied off an assist from Jared Windt in the 22nd minute.
The Chaos playoff push will come to a head in the next two weeks as it begins a two-game series with the Dynamos. West Virginia travels to Carolina July 6 then ends the season at Schoenbaum versus the Dynamos July 12.
"In the past we were a team that couldn't close games and now we're changing it and we're starting to score,'' said Ivanovic, who will be a graduate assistant for the University of Charleston men's soccer team in the fall.
"We've lost three or four games in the last 30 minutes [after leading] so this is a good change. I'm really proud of the guys' effort.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.