The No. 5-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team finished the 2020-21 regular season with a 1-1 draw at No. 12 Virginia on Saturday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Junior midfielder Isabella Sibley’s 82nd-minute goal sent the match to overtime, before sophomore goalkeeper Kayza Massey saved the day in the final moments to preserve the tie. The Ottawa, Ontario, native finished with a career-high five saves.
“This was about two top programs battling hard for a win,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “You could see the emotion of the game and it was definitely all about both teams just really wanting that victory badly.
“We needed to play teams like Virginia to get ready for the NCAA Tournament. This is only going to make us better. I was really impressed with the way we battled and the character we showed in the second half.”
In all, the Cavaliers outshot WVU, 12-6, including 6-3 in shots on goal. The hosts also held a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Massey played a big role in the contest from the start, registering a big save in the 23rd minute. From there, though, Virginia (10-4-2) scored the opening goal in the 34th minute to go up, 1-0.
WVU (10-2-1) tallied just two shots in the opening 45 minutes and trailed by a goal at halftime.
In the second half, the Cavaliers nearly doubled the lead in the 57th minute, but junior defender Jordan Brewster was able to block a shot attempt to keep the deficit at one. Two minutes later, action ensued on the other end of the pitch, as senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel attempted a shot from distance that sailed high.
In the 75th minute, Sibley found herself alone in the center of the box and headed a shot on goal, only for it to be saved by the Virginia goalkeeper. It marked the Mountaineers’ best scoring chance of the day, before the Uxbridge, England, native found the back of the net later on.
After redshirt sophomore defender Mackenzie Aunkst and Ferrer-vanGinkel set up WVU’s offensive attack, redshirt junior forward Lauren Segalla sent a cross into the box, where Sibley was there for the late equalizer.
It marked Sibley’s third goal in as many games. Additionally, Segalla tallied her team-leading fifth assist of the season.
WVU and Virginia went on to play a pair of scoreless, 10-minute overtime periods. Massey made the play of the day in the 108th minute, showcasing her athleticism by making a key, diving save to keep it at 1-1.
“She was the MVP,” Izzo-Brown said of Massey. “The funny part is everyone is showing me clips of her, but we get to see all that every day at practice. I’m so glad she was able to help the team and keep us in the game today.”
Following Saturday’s match, the Mountaineers are now 4-11-3 all-time against Virginia. The two squads met for the second consecutive weekend, after WVU topped the Cavaliers, 1-0, on April 3, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown.
Next up, West Virginia, which has won at least 10 games for the 21st consecutive season, readies for the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament, with selection day set for Monday, April 19. The Mountaineers have qualified for each of the last 20 tournaments, good for the fifth-longest streak in the nation.