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Kailey Utley leads WVU past LMU, advance to Elite Eight

 Kailey Utley ( Sparks Photo)
Kailey Utley ( Sparks)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Kailey Utley scored a hat trick to lead the West Virginia University women’s soccer team past the Loyola Marymount Lions 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

“From day one, this team wanted to separate themselves and be special,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I have been fortunate to be the only coach here at West Virginia, so I am able to compare them to past teams. I don’t like to compare teams, but I will tell you that this team wanted to separate itself and be special. They have done just that today with their 19 wins because no other team in program history has done that.”

The 5-foot-4 Utley scored her first goal on a cross from Nia Gordon at 53:04. It was the senior forward’s first three goal game.

Sophomore forward Michaela Abam (Photo Credit: /Dale Sparks Photo)
Sophomore forward Michaela Abam (Photo Credit: /Dale Sparks)

Michaela Abam scored her first goal of the season the 16:14 mark to put the Mountaineers ahead 1-0.

Nine minutes later LMU would answer on a header by Raquel Angelone. It was her first goal of the season.

Heather Kaleiohi would give WVU a 2-1 lead at the 38:17 mark, but the Lions would answer just over a minute later.

The second half became Utley’s show.

At the 56:59 mark, Utley would light up the boards again when she ripped a shot from the top of the box past LMU’s Charlee Pruitt.

Utley made it 5-2 off a cross from Bianca St. Georges into box.  The St. Louis native is the fourth Mountaineer to score two or more goals in a game this season.

“As a senior captain, I knew that my performance in the first half was not good enough,” Utley said. “We were tied 2-2, and it could have been our last game. It could have been the end of our season. I knew I had to pick it up.”

Utley finished the game with six points. Abam added four.

WVU’s goalie Hannah Steadman had nine saves on the day, six came in the first half. The nine saves were a career-best for Steadman. She matched her previous best of six in the first half.

It’s the second time this season WVU has scored four or more goals in three straight games.

With the victory, The Mountaineers earned win No.100 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

WVU will take on Penn State Saturday at 4 p.m. at Jeffrey Field, in University Park, Pennsylvania. It is the second time in program history the Mountaineers are playing in the Elite Eight.


Quotes Courtesy of

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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