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No. 22 WVU battles back on Stahl’s goal to draw Penn State

Alina Stahl (24) celebrates her equalizing goal vs Penn State on Friday. Photo courtesy West Virginia athletics

No. 22 WVU battles back on Stahl’s goal to draw Penn State

FINAL:  No. 22 West Virginia 1, Penn State 1

Box Score 

No. 22-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team battled back from a halftime deficit, but ultimately settled for a 1-1 (2OT) draw against No. 8 Penn State in front of 1,803 fans at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Friday.

WVU moves to 2-2-1 on the season with the result. The draw moves the series record to 9-7-3 in favor of the Nittany Lions, and 4-4-1 in Morgantown.

“Tonight, you had two teams battling and really understanding what was at stake,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the result tonight, but I’m very proud of the way we battled tonight.”

The Mountaineers controlled the tempo of the match from the start, recording eight of the game’s first 11 shots and earning four corner kicks in the first 25 minutes of play. However, Penn State jumped on the board first as Ally Schlegel used a perfectly-placed header to net in her first goal of the season and give PSU an early 1-0 lead.

West Virginia ended the first half with an 8-6 advantage in shots and a 4-0 edge in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster earned three saves in the first half, including back-to-back shots from PSU in the 21st minute of play.

As it has done all season, WVU’s offense started the second 45 minutes of play fast, as sophomore forward Alina Stahl (Baldwin HS / Beadling SC) tied the match with a perfectly executed turn-and-shoot play from just outside the 18-yard line that went into the top-right corner of the net just five minutes into the second half.

The goal marked Stahl’s first of the season and the second of her career. Freshman Julianne Vallerand was credited with her first assist of the season. Vallerand finished the match with a team-leading seven points on the year (three goals, one assist).

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West Virginia continued to control possession for the remainder of the half but was unable to capitalize on the seven shots following Stahl’s goal as the two teams ended regulation knotted at one-all.

Neither team produced quality chances in the first overtime as the two squads earned just one shot apiece. Penn State picked up its first corner in the 95th minute, but it was quickly sent out of harm’s way by the West Virginia defense.

Junior Stefany Ferrar-vanGinkel and sophomore Addison Clark registered a shot each in the second overtime in the 107th minute of action, but both failed to land on goal. WVU found its best chance to net the golden-goal with the clock winding down as Ferrar-vanGinkel broke past PSU’s backline and launched ball from just inside the center line that went wide-right as time expired.

The Mountaineers outshot the Nittany Lions 21-11, while holding a 9-2 edge in corner kicks during the match.

Foster registered a season-high six saves. Clark led the game with four shots, while senior forward Jade Gentile put both of her shots on goal to pace the Mountaineers on the night.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the United States. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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