Sophomore forward Alina Stahl registered her first career brace to lead the West Virginia University women’s soccer team past Bowling Green, 2-0, on Sunday at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
West Virginia moved to 5-3-1 after picking up its second straight win, while Bowling Green fell to 2-5-3. The Mountaineers are now 5-0-1 at home this season. The clean sheet marks the second straight for the WVU defense and the fourth of the season.
“Their record doesn’t reflect what type of team they are,” Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “They have played such a tough nonconference schedule, so we knew that we were going to have our hands full today. We knew that we were going to have to find the back of the net and get shutout on the defensive side of the ball.”
WVU wasted no time breaking the scoreless tie to start the game, as Stahl netted her first goal at the 2:02 mark of the contest. Stahl accepted a pass from senior Jessica Lisi and used a great individual effort to get to the right side of the box before sending a shot that went into the left side of the net.
The score marked the 14th fastest goal scored to open a game in WVU history. Stahl registered her second goal of the season, while Lisi was credited with her second assist of the year.
The Mountaineers continued the offensive attack to begin the game as the squad outshot Bowling Green 4-0 in the first ten minutes of play. The Falcons responded with a ferocious attack of their own, but senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster was able to fight off both attempts on goal. Neither team found the back of the net for the remainder of the first half as WVU entered the locker room with a 6-5 advantage in shots and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
The stout defense continued following the intermission as WVU and BGSU traded chances for the first 35 minutes of the final half.
Stahl broke through once again in the 83rd minute as she took a through pass from Isabella Sibley and fought off a Bowling Green defender to force a one-on-one chance with the Falcon’s goalie. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native capitalized on the opportunity, sneaking a ball into the center of the net to give WVU a 2-0 advantage.
Stahl earned the first brace of her career with the insurance goal, while Sibley picked up her first dish of the season. Stahl also tied career-highs in shots (4) and shots on goal (3) in the match. Senior forward Jade Gentile put all three of her shots on net in the contest to match Stahl’s performance.
“It was incredible what Alina was able to do,” Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “We’ve talked a lot about doing your job. For Alina (Stahl) to finish two, it’s so important for her moving forward.”
Foster recorded her 35th career shutout as WVU’s defense earned its fourth shutout of the season. Foster is one clean sheet away from moving into a tie for second place on the all-time career shutouts list in WVU history.
WVU held the 5-4 advantage in corner kicks in the contest but trailed the Falcons in shots 11-10.
With the win, West Virginia moves to 5-0 against the Falcons.
The Mountaineers open Big 12 Conference play in Morgantown on Friday, Sept. 27, with a match against Iowa State. First kick at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is set for 7 p.m. EST. It’s Diversity and Inclusion Night, and fans are encouraged to wear their favorite international soccer team jersey to receive $3 admission. It’s also Friday Night Happy Hour.