No. 7 West Virginia women’s soccer is aiming for yet another home victory on Friday night when they host Baylor in a Big 12 Conference clash at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The contest gets underway at 7 p.m. and will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The Mountaineers (4-1) are back clear on top of the Big 12 after earning a 2-1 victory at Texas Tech last week, their second straight victory. Plus, their success has them in a familiar place: the national top ten.
“We love being in the top 15, but most importantly, we know that we have to have success because we want to win this conference because it’s here, it’s right now, and we have four games left and we’re in a position to do that,” said WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown.
WVU’s opponents for the week, on the other hand, have not had quite as strong a start. Baylor is currently 1-1-3 on the season, which includes two double overtime draws to TCU and Texas Tech and a 2-0 victory over Kansas.
That doesn’t mean West Virginia is taking the Bears lightly, though.
“Baylor absolutely does not have any reflection of their record,” Izzo-Brown said. “They are a team that does their system better than any other team in the country.”
Baylor could be argued as one of the best defensive teams in the conference. Those two goals by Kansas are the only scores allowed by the Bears so far this season, anchored by goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt, who has saved 92.3 percent of the shots she’s faced — the best mark in the Big 12.
“This team will disrupt you, they bring an incredible amount of intensity to the game and they all buy in to the way they need to play,” she added. “So I definitely know that it will be a real hard-fought game Friday night.”
Baylor will present a unique challenge to the Mountaineers, who have scored a conference-high 11 goals so far this season. Their attack has been spearheaded by Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel, the lone senior on the squad, who has added 3 goals and an assist in five games.
She even added a goal in WVU’s clash last week with Texas Tech, which was enough to earn her a prestigious award from the Big 12.
“I’m really proud of…’Pinto’ [Ferrer-vanGinkel], her mentality, her attitude and what she’s producing,” Izzo-Brown said.
Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is at 7 p.m. and it will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Gold and Blue Nation’s Nick Farrell will be on the call along side Adam Zundell.