No. 4 Mountaineer women’s soccer braces for second straight top-10 Clash

Gold and Blue Nation

The No. 4-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team concludes its 2020-21 home slate by playing host to No. 10 Virginia on Saturday, April 3. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Tickets for Saturday’s fixture is sold out. A limited amount of WVU student tickets will be made available at the Mountaineer Ticket Office, located at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The office, as well as the stadium gates, opens at 1 p.m., on game day. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid WVU Student I.D.

Fans can follow all the action with help from the match’s live stats, found at WVUsports.com. The game also will be broadcast live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

“(Virginia is) so organized, dynamic and well-coached,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “You can’t really point to a thing that they don’t do well, but you can point to a lot of things that they do really well in their game and their program itself. We have our hands full, for sure.”

Saturday marks the 17th meeting between the Mountaineers (9-2, 7-2 Big 12) and Cavaliers (10-3-1, 5-2-1 ACC). Virginia leads the all-time series, 11-3-2, including 3-2-1 in Morgantown. In the two schools’ most recent contest, Virginia topped WVU, 4-1, on Sept. 1, 2019, in Charlottesville.

WVU is coming off a 3-2 win over then-No. 5 Duke on April 27, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Junior forward Alina Stahl scored the game-winning goal in the 47th minute to help the Mountaineers take down the top-10 foe. Stahl also added an assist in the victory. The Mountaineers led, 2-0, at the 18th-minute mark after redshirt junior forward Lauren Segalla and junior midfielder Isabella Sibley each found the back of the net early, before Stahl’s tally finished the job.

In all, WVU outshot the Blue Devils, 12-3, including 6-2 in shots on goal. West Virginia also held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.

With the win, West Virginia has now defeated a top-10 opponent in 15 of the last 16 seasons, including nine times at home since 2010.

Earlier this week, Stahl was named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week following her performance against Duke. Additionally, she was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Women’s Team of the Week and College Soccer News’ National Women’s Team of the Week.

The Mountaineers enter Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 4 in the latest United Soccer Coaches National Poll, which was released on Tuesday. WVU jumped up three spots after the win over the Blue Devils. Virginia, meanwhile, sits at No. 10 in the poll this week.

Virginia, which is set to become WVU’s fifth ranked opponent this season, is led by 21st-year coach Steve Swanson, who holds a mark of 325-97-49 during his time with the Cavaliers. In all, he has 429 career wins in 31 seasons as a head coach.

The Cavaliers are 10-3-1 on the year and finished 5-2-1 in ACC play last fall. The squad hasn’t played since March 6, when it took down VCU, 2-1, in Richmond, Virginia.

Sophomore forward Diana Ordonez leads the Cavaliers in goals (8) and points (20). Additionally, junior forward Alexa Spaanstra has found the back of the net six times, while freshman forward Lia Godfrey’s seven assists are a team high. Of note, Virginia ranks No. 5 nationally in shots per game (18.9).

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUWomensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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