from West Virgina University Athletic Deptartment report
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (August 21, 2016) – A goal each half helped the No. 5-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team overcome wet, tough conditions and deliver career win No. 300 to coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as the Mountaineers defeated Buffalo, 2-0. this afternoon, in the Penn State Invitational at Jeffrey Field.
Izzo-Brown entered the 2016 season with a 299-106-44 career coaching record. All but 13 of the victories have come with the Mountaineers; she spent the 1994 season at West Virginia Wesleyan before founding the WVU women’s soccer program in 1995.
“That was an ugly win, but we put two in the back of the net” Izzo-Brown said through raindrops. “We’re coming off a very emotional game Friday night, and it was tough to get our legs going. I was happy that we were able to get out and find a way. Buffalo did a good job of getting a ton of numbers behind the ball, so it was tough to get a good look at the net.
“When you’re in athletics, you never look back, so I really was just looking forward to this one win – this was a big first win for us today. Win No. 300 means a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice – there were a lot of people that helped me get here. It’s never just about me. It’s a big number, and I can’t deny that.”
The Mountaineers (1-0-1) left little doubt in today’s match, outshooting the Bulls (0-2) 26-3 and forcing UB’s goalkeepers, Laura Dougall and Cassie Betancourt, to make a combined four saves. WVU also earned a 12-1 edge in corner kicks, with nine chances coming in the first half.
WVU freshman Rylee Foster and junior Michelle Newhouse each saw time in net today. Foster played the majority of the match and earned the win, while Newhouse made the team’s lone save in the 83rd minute.
Junior forward Heather Kaleiohi gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the 2016 season, running up on a ball off a service from classmate Amandine Pierre-Louis in the 22nd minute and beating a sprawled out Laura Dougall, whose gamble to leave her line did not pay off, as Kaleiohi sent her low shot toward the far left post.
The goal and assist are the first of the year for Kaleiohi and Pierre-Louis, respectively.
Sophomore forward Grace Cutler padded WVU’s advantage in the 68th minute, heading in a cross from classmate Sh’Nia Gordon from seven-yards out. The goal is the first in a Mountaineer uniform for Cutler.
Kaleiohi and junior forward Michaela Abam paced the field with five shots each, and Kaleiohi finished with a team-high two shots on-goal. Three different Bulls finished with one shot each.
Abam had the first great look of the match. Sophomore forward Hannah Abraham made a play on a goal kick by Dougall and sent the ball into the box, where Abam pounced and set a shot toward the net, but Dougall recovered for the save.
Freshman Jade Gentile nearly added to WVU’s advantage in the 38th minute. Following the Mountaineers’ seventh corner kick of the half, the ball bounced in front of the goal mouth before reaching the rookie’s feet. She took an immediate shot, but Dougall was there for the stop.
WVU’s final great chance of the first half came off the head of sophomore forward Grace Cutler, but her attempt from seven-yards off slammed off the goal post.
Play slowed down in the second half, though the Mountaineers still earned 12 shots.
Kaleiohi figured into two early chances for WVU. On the first in the 55th minute, she played a ball between defenders to Abraham, but her sliding shot was stopped by Betancourt. Kaleiohi then earned her own chance in the 66th minute, but her attempt from beyond the 18-yard box was tipped away by Betancourt.
Newhouse stopped the Bulls’ best chance of the day in the 83rd minute, dropping to her names and turning away a charging Carissima Cutrona at the right post.
With today’s win, WVU improves to 2-0 all-time against UB.
The Mountaineers open their 2016 home season at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium against No. 14 Clemson on Friday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. It’s a Dollar Night, and all tickets, small drinks, popcorn and bags of Skittles will be available for $1 each. WVU Students are admitted free with a valid WVU Student ID. Prior to kickoff, the Mountaineer Maniacs will host a tailgate with free Qdoba for all members in attendance.