WVU women’s soccer (2-5-2) extended its winless streak to five games Thursday following its 4-2 loss to UCF (5-2) in Orlando.
Thursday’s match with UCF marked a pair of “firsts” for WVU. It was the first Big 12 matchup of the season, and it was also the first WVU start for sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Smith. It was the first time all season that former Big 12 Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Kayza Massey did not start.
Forward Taylor White entered the game with three-straight games with a goal or an assist, and it didn’t take long for her to extend it to four games. In the game’s ninth minute, White dribbled the ball through a defender’s legs down the UCF end line before finding senior midfielder Isabel Loza for her first goal of the season.
The Mountaineers held a 1-0 lead for almost 17 minutes before UCF forward Dayana Martin knotted the score at 1-1 in the 26th minute. Not even five minutes later, forward Ellie Moreno – the Knights’ leading scorer on the year – blasted home a goal for the 2-1 UCF advantage.
At halftime, WVU head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown opted for Massey to replace Smith in net after WVU lost a 1-0 lead in the first half.
UCF junior forward Chloe Netzel welcomed Massey into the game with a highlight-reel worthy goal in the 49th minute. Both Moreno and Netzel’s goals came from the top of the WVU box and nailed the top-right corner of the goal.
In other words, they were perfectly struck.
The Knights held their 3-1 advantage for a large chunk of the second half before White found herself in a one-on-one dribbling match on the UCF end line. White eventually drew a penalty in the UCF box, and fifth-year defender Julianne Vallerand drilled the ensuing penalty kick to halve the deficit to 3-2.
As the clock ticked past the 15-minutes remaining mark, UCF suffocated any chance of a WVU comeback with a goal from senior midfielder Maggie Jenkins to extend the lead to 4-2 and solidify UCF’s first Big 12 win in its first season in the conference.
WVU returns to Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown next Thursday with a matchup against Iowa State (3-4-1) at 7 p.m. ET.