WVU opens 20th straight NCAA Tournament

WVU Women's Soccer

The West Virginia University women’s soccer team opens its 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a match against No. 25 Georgetown on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C.

Saturday’s match will be streamed live on the Big East Digital Network. WVU is 21-17-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 12-5-2 in the first round. Dating back to the 2015 season, the Mountaineers have outscored their tournament opponents, 33-14.

“We know that we have a tough opponent in Georgetown, so tomorrow’s game is going to be a huge battle,” coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “But it’s NCAA Tournament time so we have to bring our best 90 minutes of soccer to advance.”

The contest marks the second time this season that the Mountaineers and Hoyas will square off at Shaw Field after GU earned a 3-0 win over WVU on Sept. 15. West Virginia holds a 15-6-2 all-time advantage over Georgetown.

The series is locked at 0-0-1 in the NCAA Tournament after the two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first round of the 2014 tournament. The Hoyas advanced after edging the Mountaineers 6-5 in penalty kicks.

WVU enters the tournament with a 10-7-2 (5-3-1 Big 12) overall record. In its last match, West Virginia fell to eventual-Big 12 Tournament Champion, No. 11 Kansas, 2-0, on Nov. 3 in the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinal.

The Mountaineer backline is anchored by senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster, who ranks third amongst all active student-athletes in Division I and places second on the school’s career shutouts list with 37. A member of the All-Big 12 Second Team, Foster is third on the career shutouts list among active Division I players and ranks third in the Big 12 in shutouts (6) and saves (68) this season.

Sophomore forward Alina Stahl leads the Mountaineers with 12 points (5 G, 2 A) this season. Stahl also paces the team with three game-winners on the year.

Georgetown enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-4-3 record. The Hoyas came up just short of capturing its fourth-straight Big East tournament title in the Big East Championship on Nov. 10 as the team fell to Xavier, 2-0.

GU has outshot its opponents 300-141 this season while holding a 45-18 advantage in goals.

The explosive Georgetown offense ranks 20th in the country in scoring offense (2.25) and 16th nationally with 6.85 points per game.

All-Big East First Team selection Amanda Carolan leads the Hoyas 29 points and 11 goals this season. The Big East Midfielder of the Year, Paula Germino-Watnick ranks second on the squad with 26 points (9 G, 8 A), while sophomore Boo Jackson paces Georgetown with nine dishes. 

Freshman netminder Anna Leat is the projected starter in goal for the Hoyas. She has registered 40 saves and has seven this season.

Saturday’s match marks the first time since 2013 that the Mountaineers have played a match in the first round of the NCAA Tournament outside of Morgantown. WVU has advanced to the Round of 16 six times, the quarterfinals three times and made its first appearance in the NCAA College Cup in 2016.

The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to face the winner of No. 4-seeded Rutgers and Central Connecticut State in the second round of the tournament.

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