WVU women’s soccer plays to scoreless draw vs. Baylor

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West Virginia captain defender Jordan Brewster sends a corner kick into the box during the second half of the Mountaineers’ rout of Buffalo at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Aug. 19, 2021. (Photo: Sam Coniglio)

WACO, Texas – The West Virginia University women’s soccer team played to its second consecutive 0-0, double-overtime draw at Baylor on Sunday afternoon, at Betty Lou Mays Field in Waco.

In WVU’s fifth overtime contest of the season, as well as its second straight, the Mountaineers (9-4-4, 3-2-3 Big 12) showed another strong defensive effort, solidified by a career-high matching seven saves from junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey. However, despite placing six shots on goal, the offense once again struggled to find the back of the net in the 110-minute match.

“Obviously, it’s been a difficult last two weeks with three of our key starters out of the lineup due to COVID,” West Virginia coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I’m proud of how our team has battled, especially with two back-to-back overtime games, but we have to find a way to score. The team has shown a huge effort in creating opportunities, but some situations have just been out of our control this year.”

The first half was another quiet one for West Virginia, with the Mountaineers tallying just a pair of shots on goal in the first 45 minutes. WVU’s first shot on target came off the boot of freshman forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran early in the match, but it was easily handled by Baylor keeper Jennifer Wandt. The only other shot on frame for the Mountaineers came from freshman defender Lisa Schöppl, but beyond that the two teams played a back-and-forth match for much of the half.

Fresh off her stellar performance at Texas on Oct. 21, Massey made a pair of routine saves in the first half, intercepting several opportunities from the Bears and putting a stop to the offensive attack.

The early going of the second half looked much like the first, with the Baylor defense fending off any chance the Mountaineers tried to create. On the other end of the pitch, the Bears earned a few clean opportunities, but Massey remained consistent and got her hands on four Baylor shot attempts before the 60-minute mark. West Virginia earned a pair of back-to-back corner kicks in the 66th minute, but the squad wasn’t able to create a goal on the end of either chance.

At the 74:07 mark, the BU attack made a charge at goal, beating the Mountaineer defense to the 18-yard box, but once again, Massey was there to get her hands on the ball. For the remainder of regulation, it was a story of desperation for both sides, as each searched for the go-ahead score. Junior forward/defender Julianne Vallerand took the final effort for WVU, but her shot went just over the crossbar, and the game headed to overtime.

To open the first overtime period, WVU had its best opportunity of the match with three consecutive shots. It began with a chance by sophomore midfielder Lilly McCarthy, whose ball banged off the crossbar. Senior midfielder Isabella Sibley took hold of the rebound for a shot of her own, but it bounced off Baylor’s Wandt. The final shot of the West Virginia chance was booted by sophomore forward/midfielder AJ Rodriguez, but the ball went wide, and the game remained scoreless.

In the second OT, the Mountaineers once again started early, as Sibley beat a pair of BU defenders to earn a good look at the goal, but her ensuing shot went out for a WVU corner. Following the corner, West Virginia added two more shots from McCarthy and Rodriguez, but the final finish wasn’t there once again. From there, it was further desperation, as neither team managed to find the back of the net in the 110-minute match.

In the final stats, the Mountaineers were edged by the Bears 15-14 in shots, as well as 7-6 in shots on goal. West Virginia earned seven corner-kick opportunities on the afternoon, while the Mountaineer defense allowed Baylor to earn just one. Heredia-Beltran led the offense with four shots, placing a pair on goal.

With the draw, WVU’s all-time advantage over the Bears moves to 7-2-2, as well as 2-1-1 in games played in Waco. Additionally, the Mountaineers now fall to 0-1-4 in overtime matches this season, while their all-time mark in overtime contests now sits at 30-20-60.

Additionally, Sunday’s match saw another impressive showing from Massey, as she tallied seven saves for the second straight match, after setting the career-high mark at Texas on Oct. 21. The Ottawa, Ontario, native also earned her seventh shutout of the campaign and fourth in a row, while it marked the Mountaineer defense’s ninth clean sheet of the year.

Next up, West Virginia returns home to Morgantown to host Oklahoma State in its final regular-season match of the campaign on Thursday, Oct. 28. The contest is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, and it also will be the Mountaineers’ Senior Night, as they honor four senior members of the squad following the match.

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