Women’s soccer kicks off NCAA Second Round vs. Central Conn. State

WVU Mountaineers

The West Virginia University women’s soccer team continues play in the 2019 NCAA Tournament with a second-round match against Central Connecticut State on Friday, Nov. 22, at 4 p.m., in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Friday’s match will be streamed live on ESPN3. WVU is 22-17-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has played in the second round of the tournament for the last five seasons. Dating back to the 2015 season, the Mountaineers have outscored their tournament opponents, 33-14.

“Central Connecticut is a high-quality team that knows how to win,” coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “They haven’t lost since October 3, so we are going to have to play our best 90 minutes to advance to Sunday.”

Friday’s match marks the third meeting between the Mountaineers and Blue Devils, with WVU holding a 2-0 advantage over CCSU. The two teams have not met since 2000, when WVU earned a 4-0 win over Central Connecticut in New Britain, Connecticut. The Mountaineers earned a 2-1 win in the first matchup in Morgantown on Oct. 10, 1998.

WVU enters the match with a 11-7-2 overall record after earning a 2-0 win over No. 25 Georgetown in the first round on Nov. 16.

Sophomore forward Alina Stahl recorded her second brace of the season after scoring in the 13th and 40th minute to give the Mountaineers an early 2-0 advantage. The Mountaineers held on to the shutout in the second half thanks to an outstanding effort from senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster, who registered five saves in the final 45 minutes to send WVU into the second round.

Foster, who ranks third amongst all active student-athletes in Division I and places second on the school’s career shutouts list with 37. A member of the All-Big 12 Second Team, Foster is third on the career shutouts list among active Division I players and ranks third in the Big 12 in shutouts (6) and saves (68) this season.

Stahl leads the Mountaineers with 12 points (5 G, 2 A) this season. Stahl also paces the team with three game-winners on the year.

Central Connecticut, the 2019 Northeast Conference Champions, enters the match with a 13-4-4 record in 2019.

The Blue Devils earned a 1-0 upset win over No. 4-seeded Rutgers on Nov. 15 to earn a spot in the second round.

CCSU has outshot its opponents 310-192 this season while holding a 44-17 advantage in goals.

The Blue Devil’s offense ranks No. 21 in the country in points per game (6.38) and is 30th nationally with 44 goals on the year. Sophomore midfielder Roma McLaughlin leads the Blue Devils in goals (10) and points (23), while junior defender paces CCSU with eight dishes this season.

Sophomore netminder Amanda McQuillan is the projected starter in goal. She has registered 60 saves   and has five shutouts on the year.

WVU is 5-6-2 all-time in the second round, after earning a draw against Wake Forest in 2018. The Demon Deacons advanced to the Round of 16 after besting WVU 6-5 in a penalty shootout. WVU has advanced to the Round of 16 six times, the quarterfinals three times and made its first appearance in the NCAA College Cup in 2016.

The winner of Friday’s match will advance to face the winner of No. 3 Virginia and Washington State on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m. in Charlottesville.

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