MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 27, 2021) – The No. 7-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team knocked off No. 5 Duke, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Three different Mountaineers scored for West Virginia (9-2, 7-2 Big 12) in the victory, including junior forward Alina Stahl, who was credited with the game-winner. WVU held possession throughout the match, outshooting the Blue Devils, 12-3, and tallying six shots on goal.
“The thing I just told the team is that we could’ve done whatever we wanted leading up to this game, but if they didn’t show that effort and that execution, we wouldn’t have just beaten the fifth-best team in the country,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I’m so proud of this team and how they came out with intensity, effort and focus against a talented Duke team.”
The Mountaineers knocked on the door early with a shot from redshirt junior forward Lauren Segalla that went out and resulted in a WVU corner. Sophomore midfielder Juliana Lynch took the corner kick and sent a ball high into the box, which found the head of Segalla. The Salisbury, Connecticut, native punched it into the back of the net to put WVU on top, 1-0, in the eighth minute.
Just 10 minutes later, West Virginia added another goal, this time off the boot of junior midfielder Isabella Sibley. The Uxbridge, England, native received a pass from Stahl at the top of the box and beat a Blue Devil defender and goalkeeper, which put the Mountaineers up by a pair 18 minutes into the match. The score marked Sibley’s first of the season.
From there, the visitors managed to find the back of the net just before the end of the half, forcing the Mountaineers to settle with a 2-1 advantage after 45 minutes.
Out of the intermission, West Virginia didn’t waste any time moving its lead back to two, as Stahl scored a goal of her own in the 47th minute. Senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel split a pair of Duke defenders and dribbled into the box before sending a cross to Stahl, who notched her sixth goal of the year.
The Blue Devils responded at the 54-minute mark with a goal of their own, but the Mountaineer defense was determined to deny the equalizer, as Duke failed to tally another shot in the remainder of the contest.
“I give this team so much credit for staying focused and staying safe from the fall until now,” Izzo-Brown said. “As a coach, you worry about X’s and O’s, but right now we have to worry about safety. I could worry all I want, but if they’re not sacrificing and doing it, then it means nothing. I’m just so proud of them for walking that straight line while continuing to come out and battle for wins.”
With the win, the Mountaineers have now defeated a top-10 team in 15 of the last 16 campaigns, while the squad moved to 5-0 at home this season. WVU also has won 51 of its last 52 contests when scoring multiple goals.
Saturday’s match marked the sixth meeting between West Virginia and Duke, as the Mountaineers improved to a 3-2-1 in the all-time series.
Next up, West Virginia’s two-match homestand continues on Saturday, April 3, as the Mountaineers welcome Virginia to Morgantown.