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Mountaineers Down Panthers

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Michaela Abam and the Mountaineers defeat Pitt 5-1 on Sunday afternoon. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone) Michaela Abam and the Mountaineers defeat Pitt 5-1 on Sunday afternoon. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

Per WVU Communications: Four second-half goals helped push the West Virginia University women’s soccer team to a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh this afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

Tied 1-1 after 45 minutes of play, junior midfielder Alli Magaletta netted the game-winner in the 50th minute, connecting on a Mountaineer corner kick near the right post. After the ball was put into play, Magaletta maintained composure following a fruitless first touch before slotting the ball toward the lower right pocket.

Junior forward Michaela Abam extended the Mountaineers’ advantage just two minutes later, connecting on a running shot near WVU’s bench nearly 36-yards out.

Sophomore forward Hannah Abraham put the score at 4-1 in the 70th minute. Sophomore forward Grace Cutler jump-started the scoring play, sending the ball to junior midfielder Carla Portillo, who quickly sent it wide to Abraham. The Fairchance, Pennsylvania, native immediately sent a sailing shot from 18-yards out toward the far right post for her second goal of the day.

The Mountaineers’ fifth score came with more than two minutes remaining in the match, as sophomore midfielder Laurel Carpenter headed one in from Cutler at the left post. Cutler was strong in the setup, stealing the ball near the 18-yard line. After drawing the goalkeeper away from her line, Cutler beat her with a move before driving toward the end line and sending the cross to Carpenter.

“I really liked the energy and focus we brought today,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I was happy to see everyone do her job. We really wanted to get the shutout, but most importantly, we wanted to put this team away in the second half. We knew if we gave them chances, they would finish.

“I thought Hannah Abraham and Michaela Abam did a good job leading us up top, and our midfield was able to control the tempo.”

Pitt struck first, as forward Taylor Pryce sent a shot from 30-yards out over the head of Mountaineer goalkeeper Rylee Foster in the 11th minute.

Abraham knotted the score in the 22nd minute, pouncing on a misplayed ball in front of the net and placing her shot above the Panther goalkeeper’s hands and toward the right post.

Unofficially, the Mountaineers finished with a 26-8 shot advantage. WVU forced Pitt into 10 saves and earned a 3-1 edge in corner kicks.

WVU closes the home portion of its spring slate next weekend, as the team faces Xavier at 3 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

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