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WVU Prepped for Top-15 Battle on Sunday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Aug. 21, 2021) – The No.12-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team welcomes No. 4 Virginia to Morgantown for a top-15 clash on Sunday, August 22. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. ET at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

It’s Mountaineer Kids Club Day, and Kids Club members are invited to pick up their club t-shirts and join the Mountaineers for a Back to School Bash. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME to avoid lines at the gate on game day. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each. Any remaining tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors at the stadium ticket window on match day.

WVU student tickets also will be made available at the Mountaineer Ticket Office, located at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The office, as well as the stadium gates, opens at 1 p.m., on game day. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid WVU Student I.D.

Andrew Caridi, Adam Zundell and Liam Belan have the call of Sunday’s match on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. For more information, or to sign up for the digital platform, visit WVUsports.com/Big12Now. The game also can be heard on 91.7 FM (WWVU) in Morgantown. Live stats are available at WVUsports.com.

“Virginia is going to be a different beast because they don’t like to give West Virginia the ball,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “We have to be very smart in how we approach the game and really strengthen our mentality going in on Sunday.”

In the opening match of WVU’s 26th season of competition, the Mountaineers earned a 4-0 win over Buffalo on Aug. 19. Four different Mountaineers scored in the season debut, including a pair of newcomers. Junior defender Julianne Vallerand, redshirt senior forward Lauren Segalla, junior midfielder Maya McCutcheon and freshman forward Rhea Kijowski found the back of the net in WVU’s dominant win over the Bulls. Vallerand was credited with the game winner, the third of her career.

Six newcomers also recorded their first career game action in Gold and Blue on Thursday, including McCutcheon, Heredia-Beltran, Kijowski, Sparacio, freshman defender Annika Leslie and freshman midfielder Brooke Brown.

Sunday’s match marks the 19th meeting between West Virginia and Virginia. UVA leads the series, 11-4-3, following consecutive matchups in 2020-21. The first was a 1-0 Mountaineer victory at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on April 3, followed by a 1-1 tie in double overtime in Charlottesville on April 10. The two teams met for the first time under their current head coaches on Sept. 7, 2001, with Virginia claiming a 2-1 victory. WVU and Virginia met annually from 2001-11, but Sunday’s match marks just the fifth meeting since then.

Virginia is led by head coach Steve Swanson, who enters his 22nd season at the helm. During his tenure, he has led UVA to the NCAA Women’s College Cup three times, including 2020-21, as well as consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The No. 4-ranked Cavaliers began their 2021 campaign with an 8-0 win over Richmond on Aug. 19, following a 14-4-3 overall mark in 2020-21.

Finishing last season with 40 goals, Virginia averaged 1.9 goals per game and was led by Diana Ordonez with 12 goals on the year. Goalkeeper Laurel Ivory returns for the 2021 campaign after posting four consecutive shutouts in the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament to send the Cavaliers to the National Semifinals.

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