MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University women’s soccer team jumped on top of No. 21 TCU early and never looked back, steamrolling to a 2-0 victory this afternoon at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium.
For the second straight match, the Mountaineers (6-2-3, 2-0) handed a ranked opponent its first home loss of the season. WVU shows its first five-match win streak since 2016, also the last time the Mountaineers defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games.
Senior forward Sh’Nia Gordon put WVU ahead just 0:25 into the match, and sophomore midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel added an insurance goal in the 73rd minute for her team-best fifth goal of the season.
“With the quick turnaround and being on the road, our team showed huge character,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “We had every reason not to win this game. TCU is a tough team. For us to come in here and walk away with a 2-0 victory speaks a lot about this team’s character.”
Gordon’s goal was equal parts quick thinking and brilliant individual effort. Off the first kick, WVU worked the ball wide to senior forward Hannah Abraham. She pushed the ball to the end line before sending it into the box. After settling the ball, Gordon worked off one defender, spun and then sent her low shot through multiple defenders and toward the far-left pocket for her third score of the season.
The goal is the fastest in program history, topping the previous record of 0:47, set by Heather Kaleiohi in a 4-0 win at Richmond on Sept. 23, 2016.
“I talk a lot about leaning on our seniors, and that’s exactly what happened today,” Izzo-Brown said. “That gave us so much tempo, and that goal set the tone for us. I’m so proud of Nia.”
Gordon’s game-winning goal was her second in three matches. She continues to pace the Mountaineers with 19 career goals.
Ferrer-vanGinkel notched her fifth goal in as many games late in the second half, burying a one-timer from 16-yards out. Senior midfielder Grace Cutler started the scoring playing, sending the ball deep. Senior defender Vanessa Flores corralled it in the box before sending a cross, which was redirected by sophomore forward Lauren Segalla toward Ferrer-vanGinkel.
The Barcelona, Spain, native paces the WVU attack with 11 points (5 G, 1 A).
The Mountaineers finished with a 16-5 edge in shots, holding TCU to just one shot on-goal. WVU forced the Horned Frogs’ Emily Alvarado into five saves, three in the first half.
Gordon paced the field with five shots and finished tied with Abraham with two shots on-goal.
The Mountaineers’ clean sheet was their fourth straight and sixth of the season. Junior Rylee Foster moves into fourth place on the program’s all-time list with 25 career shutouts.
“Our defense has found its rhythm. It’s a total team effort, and you defend as a unit, and this unit wanted to come out, play tight and eliminate shots,” Izzo-Brown added. “We only gave up one shot on-goal to two top-25 teams, and that’s incredible.”
WVU finished today with a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Gordon looked to give WVU its insurance goal early in the 61st minute. With the ball wide of the box, she wove past her defender before taking a low shot near the penalty line. The ball moved through traffic and almost snuck behind the line before Alvarado batted it away at the right post.
Though the Mountaineer defense was brilliant all day, a WVU forward made the team’s lone save. On the Horned Frogs’ third corner kick of the match in the 69th minute, midfielder Karitas Tomasdottir headed the ball toward the left post. Standing on the line, junior Jade Gentile blocked the ball back into play for a team save.
The shot was the first on-goal allowed by WVU since a 2-1 win at Clemson on Sept. 7.
WVU’s Jordan Brewster and Grace Smith combined or a block in the 82nd minute, pushing a hard shot from Messiah Bright away just inside the box.
WVU pressed early in the match. Freshman defender Jordan Brewster nearly doubled the lead in the fourth minute, as she put a hard shot on-frame, but Alvarado pushed it away at the left post.
Six minutes later, Brewster again had a hand in WVU’s attack. Her cross into the box was headed out by a TCU defender. Abraham met the ball at the left post, but her header was caught at the line by Alvarado.
The WVU defense stood its ground in the first half, negating almost all surges by the Horned Frogs (7-2-2, 0-1-1). TCU’s lone shot by Kayla Hill in the 23rd minute was blocked inside the box.
With the win, WVU improves to 8-1-2 all-time against the Horned Frogs.
The Mountaineers return to Morgantown and begin a three-match homestand against Kansas State on Friday, Sept. 28, with kick from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium set for 7 p.m.