BLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 7-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team lost 1-0 to No. 4-ranked and top-seeded Virginia Tech, tonight, at Thompson Field, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This evening’s loss is the Mountaineers’ (16-4-3, 7-1 Big 12) sixth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and first since losing 3-0 at No. 14 Wake Forest in 2009.
The Hokies’ (18-4-2, 9-3-1 ACC) lone goal was the first given up by the Mountaineers this month and halted their shutout streak at four.
“I told this team at the end of the match that we’ve accomplished so much this season, but it was what we overcame that was more important,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “The character the players displayed, and who stepped up as leaders, is what we will build off of and go forward with. This team dealt with a lot this year, and I’m very proud of them. I’ve been in the business for over 20 years, and this team will go down in the record book and in my heart for its resiliency.”
The teams battled through a steady rain that began to fall just as the match started, and neither squad was able to generate much offensive flow.
VT tallied an 8-5 shot advantage, but only placed two on-goal. The Hokies also earned a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
“We just wanted to disrupt Virginia Tech as best we could,” says Izzo-Brown. “We had a lot of respect for them coming in to the match, and we just tried to compress them where we could.”
Following a scoreless first half that saw a combined four shots from the two teams, the Hokies began to apply a heavy pressure in the 58th minute, with a shot blocked and another hitting the crossbar in the span of 40 seconds. Though the WVU defense was able to withstand the initial attack, VT capitalized in the 59th minute, as Murielle Tiernan received a cross from Taylor Antolino right in front of the net and put the ball past senior Sara Keane
The Mountaineers got their best chance for an equalizer just three minutes later, as sophomore defender Maggie Bedillion
received a ball as she ran full speed down the left side of the field and took a shot from 17-yards out that went just wide of the outstretched arms of VT goalkeeper Colpitts and trickled past the far goalpost.
The first half saw the teams play between the 18s, with neither squad allowing much traction for offensive attacks.
Neither team registered a shot until the 18th minute, when WVU freshman midfielder Tessa Broadwater
got a clear look at the net from 15-yards out. Sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney
got a quick touch on the ball, sending it to Broadwater wide of the box, where she blasted a shot right into the arms of Colpitts for the only save of the first half.
Tonight’s match was the final collegiate completion for Keane, forward Frances Silva
and midfielders Caroline Szwed
and Kara Blosser
. Silva graduates fourth in the program record book with 98 career points and 38 career goals. Keane’s 27 career shutouts rank No. 3 all-time.
The Mountaineers’ season saw them win the first Big 12 Championship title for any WVU team and their second straight conference regular-season championship, giving them at least one conference title in four consecutive seasons. Additional highlights from 2013 include Izzo-Brown’s career 250th win on Aug. 30, and the program’s 250th win on Nov. 8.