FINAL: WVU 2, Duquesne 0
Heading into its season opener, NCAA Division I women’s soccer’s 11th ranked West Virginia believed that they’d be in for a battle with Duquesne.
Sure enough, the Dukes kept the scoreline respectable, but were strangled to the point where they were held without a single shot attempt.
“I was happy with the way our group battled tonight,” Duquesne Head Coach Al Alvine said. “We didn’t create much in the way of chances, but had some good moments when we were able to keep the ball and string some passes together.”
WVU (1-0) opened the season with a win for the third time in the last five years scoring in each half. playing before 1,589 fans at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown on Friday night.
“I always talk about Mountaineer Nation and how we have the best fans and they came through tonight,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “It was a great crowd and we were excited to have so many people in attendance and it helped us push to the win.
Senior forward Jade Gentile put the Mountaineers on the board first in the 25th minute when she took a low cross from Jordan Brewster inside the box and sent it over the goalie’s head to give WVU the early, 1-0, advantage.
Gentile’s goal marked the second of her career and the first time she has earned the game-winning goal. Brewster’s assist put her in first amongst active WVU players with five assists in her career.Duquense blanked, 2-0, at No. 11 WVU in opener
The Mountaineers added an insurance goal in the 84th minute as Julianne Vallerand took three dribbles to the left and fired a left-footed shot from outside the box that landed in the top-right of the net. The goal marked the first of her career, after scoring in her intercollegiate debut.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME JULIANNE VALLERAND 😲
She scores her first career goal in style to extend the WVU lead pic.twitter.com/UwcDyTXVAr
— WVU Women's Soccer (@wvuwomenssoccer) August 24, 2019
Senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster recorded her 32nd career shutout after WVU’s defense held Duquesne without a shot. It marks the first time WVU has denied an opponent a shot since it held Saint Francis (Pa.) to zero shots on Sept. 16, 2018.
“I am proud of our team, I thought we moved the ball really well,” Izzo-Brown continued as she raved about the Atlantic 10 opponents from Pittsburgh. “Overall, we did a really good job against a dynamic Duquesne. That team is going to do really good things.”
The Mountaineers outshot the Dukes 21-0. WVU recorded 10 corner kicks in the contest, while holding Duquesne to one.
Despite the result, Alvine believe the opener is something to build on.
“We were in it right up until the final minutes of the game, which hasn’t always been the case when we’ve visited Morgantown. We’ll regroup tomorrow and prepare for our home opener on Sunday,” Alvine said.
WVU improved to 9-0-2 all-time against Duquesne, with all nine wins coming in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers will hit the road for the first time in 2019 on Sunday, August 25, as it takes on No. 3 Stanford at University Park, Pennsylvania. First kick from the Jeffrey Field is slated for noon ET. The match marks the first of four top-10 opponents over the next six games.
Meanwhile, Duquesne will turn around and will open up its home campaign on Sunday against Loyola Marymount in the home opener at Art Rooney Field at noon. Loyola lost to Pitt, 5-4, on Sunday at Ambrose Urbanic Field.