West Virginia women’s soccer came back from two goals down to steal a 2-2 draw with Kansas in Morgantown on Friday.
The Mountaineers (4-3-5, 1-0-2 Big 12) scored the final two goals after dominating with 60 percent of the game’s ball possession. That didn’t mean they dominated the match, though, as Kansas netted its two goals in the beginning of the second half just 33 seconds apart.
“I thought we did enough to win tonight. The first half was incredible, we needed to put a couple of those opportunities away, but I told the team that I’m proud of their comeback,” said WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “These girls put their minds to anything and anything can happen so I was proud of the way we responded.”
WVU put four shots on target in the first half but went to the locker room without a score.
Kansas didn’t waste much time finding the back of the net in the second half. The Jayhawks put their first goal on the board on a counter-attack when a trio of players found Kayza Massey, WVU’s goalkeeper, alone in the net with no help. Rylan Chilers struck first in the 59th minute with the help of Lexi Watts, the first of Watts’s two assists on the night.
Shira Elinav added to the lead in the 60th minute when she broke through the WVU back line and scored a bar-down shot over Massey from outside the penalty box.
WVU turned the game around when it started to capitalize on its set pieces. The Mountaineers had eight corner kicks in the contest and scored both of their goals from that area of the pitch.
“We finished those two set pieces, in the first half, we didn’t,” Izzo-Brown said. “I don’t know if it was we were up against a situation where we had to, but I think we have to start with that mentality.”
AJ Rodriguez scored first for WVU in a wild scene in front of the net in the 62nd minute. WVU kept up the pressure and got its second when Maya McCutcheon headed one in the 75th minute.
The Mountaineers remain unbeaten through three matches in the Big 12, but they have taken just one win in the league. They sit in the middle of the Big 12 standings in fifth place.
Izzo-Brown hopes that her team can start turning these draws into victories, and said that begins with better decisions in the attacking third of the pitch.
“I think we’re playing great soccer, it’s just what we’re doing inside that 18 [yard box],” Izzo-Brown said.
WVU next takes the pitch on Thursday when it travels to Fort Worth, Texas to face TCU. The No. 9 Horned Frogs are also unbeaten in the league and sit third in the Big 12 with seven points in three matches.
Kickoff between WVU and TCU is set for 8 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.