MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It was a game of missed opportunities for West Virginia and USF on Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The Mountaineers and Bulls combined for 40 shots with no score in a 0-0 double overtime draw.
“They were very physical and did a good job of disrupting what we were trying to do,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “It was frustrating but we had plenty of chances to score. I thought we played well today but just couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net.”
Eleven different Mountaineers combined for 21 shots, led by forward Megan Mischler’s season-high six attempts. Six Bulls’ players accounted for 19 shots, including game-high eight shots from forward Chelsea Klotz.
The Bulls were whistled for 20 fouls during the contest, the most by an opposing team this season, and each team was issued two yellow cards.
WVU had several fine scoring opportunities, including one in the second overtime off the head of Mischler on a Frances Silva cross. In the 104th minute, the senior nearly put the match away on a header that skimmed over the crossbar in front of the net.
“Our forwards were active and got into the box more,” added Izzo-Brown. “Now it’s just a matter of finishing and putting some goals away. We hit it directly at the goalkeeper too many times today. And the good looks that we did have, they need to become goals.”
The Bulls also had their share of looks, including two breakaways and a shot off the right post by midfielder Gina Pacheco. Pacheco got behind the defense and raced towards the goal from the right side, drawing WVU goalkeeper Kerri Butler off her line. Butler stayed low and forced Pacheco’s shot wide where it dinged hard off the post and across the field.
Butler worked all 110 minutes, making five saves in picking up the shutout. The clean sheet marked Butler’s 34th career shutout, leaving her three short of breaking the school’s all-time record.
“The defense played hard against some dynamic players,” said Izzo-Brown. “USF came in to today having scored a lot of goals. So, to keep them off the board was a nice effort by our back five.”
USF’s Klotz was denied on her one-versus-one scoring chance in the 51st minute. Forward Venicia Reid stole the ball from a Mountaineer at midfield, turned and sent a long ball up to Klotz who pushed her shot wide as Butler came up big again to keep the match scoreless.
Defender Drea Barklage tried to put the Mountaineers on the board in the 69th minute on a shot off WVU’s fourth corner kick of the match. Midfielder Bri Rodriguez served the ball into the box where Barklage headed the ball just wide of the net.
In the 72nd minute, forward Silva created some noise with a move at the top of box to create a scoring chance. Silva held off a defender, then turned on her to create space, sending a ball high of the goal from 16 yards out.
The Mountaineers are now 4-1-1 all-time against the Bulls, including a 2-0-1 mark at Dick Dlesk.
The Mountaineers return to action with a make-up match against Pitt on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk is slated for 7 p.m.