A late rally from No. 16 West Virginia fell short as Princeton prevailed, 2-1, Saturday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.
Despite a very strong first half, West Virginia trailed after 45 minutes on a goal in the fifth minute from Tiger forward Lynessa McGee. McGee took a shot from just inside the top of the box that deflected off a Mountaineer defender, pushing the ball into the upper right corner for a 1-0 lead.
West Virginia put six shots on-goal in the first half, including two more off the crossbar, with Princeton goalkeeper Claire Pinciaro coming up with several big saves.
The Tigers doubled their lead at the 53:59 mark on forward Jen Hoy's 18th goal of the season. Hoy, the Ivy League Player of the Year, ran onto a long ball up the middle, taking several touches into the box to draw WVU goalkeeper Sara Keane off her line. Hoy moved the ball around Keane, slotting the ball into an empty net for the eventual game-winner.
Trailing 2-0, the Mountaineers pressured late in the second half and narrowed their deficit in the 82nd minute. Silva scored her team-best 11th goal of the season on a header from six yards out. Forward Kelsie Maloney beat a defender in the left corner, sending a ball into the middle where Silva's header beat a diving Pinciaro inside the right post.
West Virginia outshot Princeton in each half, finishing with a 20-12 advantage. WVU also held a 6-2 corner kick edge, and the Tigers were whistled for nine more fouls (14-5) than the Mountaineers.
Princeton extended its unbeaten streak to 12 matches to improve to 14-3-1 overall. The Tigers advance to face Marquette, the Big East champions, in the second round of the NCAA Championship in Provo, Utah.
West Virginia's season ends at 11-5-4 with a Big 12 regular-season championship.