NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament – Second Round
FINAL: West Virginia 1, Central Connecticut State 0, 2OT
From West Virginia University athletic department report
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Nov. 23, 2019) – For the fifth time this season former Baldwin High School and Beadling standout Alina Stahl came through with the game-winning goal for West Virginia University’s women’s soccer team.
The sophomore forward scored in double overtime to lead WVU to a 1-0 win over Central Connecticut State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday.
With the win, WVU improves to 12-7-2 on the season and 22-17-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
The Mountaineers also advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 for the fourth time in the last five seasons. WVU will meet the winner of tonight’s match between No. 3 Virginia and Washington State on Sunday, Nov. 24, in Charlottesville at 5 p.m.
“Central Connecticut deserved to be here, they are a tough opponent, but we found a way to win the game,” Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “This team is a determined bunch that believes in each other and wants to win. Nobody gave up, nobody quit. We have a gritty team, it’s one of the grittiest team that I’ve ever coached.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The match was a battle from the first kick, as the two teams entered the locker rooms with a scoreless tie at the half despite WVU controlling possession through much of the first half.
West Virginia earned the first chance of the match in the 24th minute as senior forward Jade Gentile broke through CCSU’s backline and fired a shot from the top of the box that was pushed out by CCSU’s netminder with several Mountaineers in the area. Despite getting a few touches, WVU was unable to completely regain control of the ball before the Blue Devils cleared it to neutralize the attack.
WVU held a 3-2 edge in shots through the first half, as both teams put one shot on net.
The Mountaineers opened the second half fast as freshman defender Gabby Robinson and senior midfielder Jessica Lisi earned great looks at the net. Robinson’s shot came as a header that sailed just over the crossbar before Lisi sent a shot from the top of the box that was narrowly saved by the CCSU keeper.
WVU nearly broke the scoreless tie in the 60th minute as freshman forward Enzi Broussard made a great run into the far side of the box and took a long cross from Lisi. Broussard took a touch and sent a shot just inside the far post that was saved thanks to a diving effort from CCSU’s netminder.
Despite WVU’s control of the possession, the Blue Devils earned solid chances throughout the match on the counterattack. CCSU’s best opportunity came in the 80th minute as the Blue Devils earned a shot from seven yards out, but senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster earned the save with a diving stop to maintain the shutout.
West Virginia continued the attack but could not find the back of the net before the end of regulation as the match went into overtime. The Mountaineers registered a total of seven shots in the second half, while the Blue Devils tallied six.
WVU earned a pair of chances in the first overtime period as Stahl and sophomore midfielder Addison Clark recorded a shot each, but neither snuck past the Central Connecticut keeper.
The action stayed in the middle of the pitch to begin the second overtime, as the two sides traded possession, before WVU’s attack finally broke through in the 106th minute.
After earning its sixth corner of the match, sophomore forward Lizzie Mayfield sent in a perfectly-placed cross that Stahl headed into the back of the net to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 win over the Blue Devils.
The goal marked the eighth of the year for Stahl, which leads the team. The goal also gave Stahl a team-leading five game-winners this season. Mayfield’s assist marked her sixth dish of the season.
The shutout marks the ninth clean sheet of the year for the Mountaineer defense and the eighth of the year for Foster. Foster has registered 39 shutouts in her career, which is second in program history.
The Mountaineers outshot CCSU 14-9 in the match, led by Stahl with four. WVU also held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.