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No. 4 Mountaineers, TCU Battle for Big 12 Title

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 4-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team concludes the 2020 fall campaign by traveling to No. 3 TCU on Friday, Nov. 6. Kickoff at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, is set for 8 p.m. ET, with the result determining the Big 12 regular-season champion.

Fans can follow along with all the action on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Live stats are provided by GoFrogs.com.

“It’s exciting and it’s going to be an incredible soccer match,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “It is what it is – two of the best in our conference competing. You couldn’t ask for a better matchup to end the season.”

The Mountaineers (7-1, 7-1 Big 12) and Horned Frogs (7-0-1, 7-0-1 Big 12) are set to meet for the 13th time on Friday night. Overall, WVU leads the series, 9-1-2, including 3-0-1 in Fort Worth. West Virginia has won five consecutive regular-season meetings against TCU – scoring multiple goals in all five – dating back to 2015. TCU has never defeated the Mountaineers in regular-season play.

Last season, West Virginia earned a 2-1 win over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 31, 2019, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown. Then-sophomore forward Alina Stahl scored the game-winning goal in the 78th minute to help WVU to the victory. After the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute, Lizzie Mayfield tied the match at 1 in the 77th, before Stahl’s heroics moments later.

In all, the Mountaineers outshot TCU, 15-9, in the affair, including 5-3 in shots on goal. WVU also held a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

WVU enters Friday’s matchup vying for its first regular-season conference crown since 2016. The Mountaineers won five straight Big 12 regular-season titles from 2012-16, and have won five consecutive matches heading into the contest.

Last time out, West Virginia knocked off No. 11 Kansas, 2-1, on Oct. 30, in Morgantown. Senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkelfound the back of the net twice in the victory, scoring goals in the eighth and 16th minute, respectively. The Barcelona, Spain, native tallied her nation-leading fourth game-winning goal in the victory and now leads the Big 12 in goals (6) and points (13) on the season. With the performance, Ferrer-vanGinkel was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season on Nov. 3, as well as the National Women’s Player of the Week by College Soccer News on Nov. 2.

Sophomore forward Enzi Broussard earned assists on both of Ferrer-vanGinkel’s goals, leading to a spot on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Women’s Team of the Week.

The Mountaineers fired a season-best 20 shots against the Jayhawks, while limiting KU to just four. WVU held a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal and 7-4 in corner kicks. In goal, sophomore goalkeeper Kayza Massey made one save, helping her improve to 4-0 on the year.

With the win, WVU has now defeated a top-15 opponent in 15 of the last 16 seasons.

West Virginia moved up two spots to No. 4 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s National Poll, which also was released on Nov. 3. WVU has been ranked in the top 10 in all seven editions of the poll this season, including twice in the top five. The squad entered the week ranked No. 4 nationally in shot accuracy (.574), No. 6 in shots on goal per game (8.25), No. 9 in points per game (5.63) and scoring offense (2.00), No. 10 in assists per game (1.63) and corner kicks per game (6.38) and No. 12 in total goals (16).

WVU is 57-8-5 in its last 70 road matches since 2014. Additionally, the team has won 49 of its last 50 matches when scoring twice or more, including six times in 2020.

TCU is led by eighth-year coach Eric Bell, who holds a mark of 84-62-26 with the Horned Frogs. TCU is coming off a 1-0 win at Oklahoma on Oct. 30, to remain unbeaten this season.

The Horned Frogs were slotted at No. 3 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll, the highest ranking in program history. TCU has allowed just three goals all season and has tallied six shutouts as a group. Led by senior goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, TCU ranks No. 2 nationally in save percentage (.919) and No. 4 in goals against average (.363). Offensively, the Frogs ranks No. 12 in the nation in scoring offense (1.75) and points per game (4.88).

The second-place Mountaineers trail TCU by one point in the conference standings heading into Friday’s fixture. The Horned Frogs have collected 22 points, while WVU has 21 points on the year.

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