ROUND ROCK, Texas (Oct. 31, 2021) – The West Virginia University women’s soccer team earned a 1-0 victory over Baylor on Sunday night at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Round Rock, Texas, to advance to the Big 12 Soccer Championship Semifinals.
In the last quarterfinal matchup of the opening day of Big 12 Championship action, WVU (10-5-4) entered as the No. 6-seed, while Baylor was seeded No. 3. The contest was tied for much of the way until freshman forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran scored the lone goal in the 79th minute, giving the Mountaineers the go-ahead score to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
West Virginia also earned its 10th win of the campaign Sunday night to extend its streak to 22 straight seasons of at least 10 wins or more.
“It was such a huge moment for Dilary, and I am so happy for her,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “She’s been giving us such effort all year and for her to finish that game winner is just poetic justice for all the hard work she’s put in this season.”
The Mountaineers tallied a trio of shots in the early going of the match, but each was off target. The Lady Bears’ offense tested junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey early, as she earned a save and intercepted a good-looking cross before the 15-minute mark. Aside from those chances though, the first half was very much a back-and-forth contest, and the two teams went to the locker room knotted at 0-0.
Out of the half, the WVU offense found a spark, creating three early corner-kick opportunities, but there was nothing on the end of them and the teams played on. Sophomore midfielder Lilly McCarthy created a clean look from just inside the top of the box in the 54th minute, but her shot was swatted out by Baylor keeper Jennifer Wandt.
The match looked like it was destined for extra time until Heredia-Beltran made her mark in the 79th minute. Junior Aaliyah Scott played the ball to Heredia-Beltran just past the midfield line, who then dribbled down the pitch past several Baylor defenders to about 25-yards out. The Wichita, Kansas, native then squared up and sent a rocket toward the top-right corner of the goal and out of the reach of BU’s Wandt for the game-winning score.
From there, the Mountaineers played keep-away to try to hold on to their lead for the final 10 minutes of regulation. Just over a minute after her goal, Heredia-Beltran got another look from the same spot, but this one was saved by Wandt. Baylor’s final opportunity came off a corner kick in the 87th minute, but it was eventually cleared by the WVU defense to secure the Mountaineer win.
In the final stats, WVU outshot Baylor 11-7 and narrowly topped BU in shots on goal (4-3). The Mountaineers earned seven corner kicks on the night, while the defense held the Lady Bears to just one. Massey and BU’s Wandt tallied a trio of saves apiece.
With the win, West Virginia improves to 8-2-2 all-time against the Lady Bears, while the squad’s record in Big 12 Conference Tournament play moves to 14-3-2. Heredia-Beltran notched her third goal of the season, as well as her second game winner of the campaign. The Mountaineer defense also recorded its 10th shutout of the season Sunday night, as well as its fourth out of the last five matches and second this year against Baylor.
West Virginia now readies for a matchup against No. 2-seed Texas on Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Big 12 Championship Semifinals. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Round Rock, Texas, and the match will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
Press Release: WVU Athletic Department