MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Forward Blake Miller’s first-half goal pushed West Virginia past visiting High Point, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in its final nonconference match of the season. The teams outlasted the weather, finishing the contest despite two lightning delays totaling one hour and 55 minutes.
“You can’t control the weather, but from a momentum standpoint, it was frustrating,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown.
Lighting forced an 83 minute delay less than four minutes into the match. A second delay occurred in the 36th minute.
“We did a pretty good job at creating chances, but we were off the mark on our finishing,” said Izzo-Brown. “Give High Point credit, too, for battling the delays and only allowing one goal.”
Miller put the Mountaineers on the board in the 38th minute on a ball sent into the middle by Erica Henderson and flicked on by Katie Lenz. A High Point defender was slow to take the ball out of the air, allowing Miller to step in and volley the ball into the net for her second goal of the season.
“It was a great service and flick into the middle, and I was able to get in front of their defender to knock it in,” said Miller of the game-winner and her 25th career goal.
In the 50th minute, Miller nearly added a second goal on a shot from just inside the top of the box. The senior turned on a defender and slotted a ball on the ground at the left post, forcing a diving stop by Panthers goalkeeper Andrea Ritchie.
The Mountaineers continued to pressure the High Point defense in the second half, recording 10 of their 16 attempts in the final 45 minutes. Miller paced WVU with a game-high six shots.
Forward Emily Dillon had scoring opportunities in the 74th and 76th minutes, sending shots just wide of the goal from inside the box.
West Virginia’s defense picked up its second-straight shutout, while limiting the Panthers to four shots and one corner kick on the afternoon.
“The defense stepped up and made it difficult for High Point to get any quality chances today,” said Izzo-Brown. “When we don’t finish, we need our defense to step up.”
WVU improves to 4-3-0, while HPU falls to 2-4-1.
The Mountaineers return to action with their BIG EAST opener on Thursday, Sept. 15, at USF.