Women’s soccer suffers first conference loss

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The West Virginia University women’s soccer team scored a pair of goals in the second half, but dropped a 4-2 decision to Baylor in Waco, Texas, on Thursday.

WVU (6-4-1, 1-1-0) suffered its first conference loss of the season with the decision. The match marked the first time since 2017 that the Mountaineers have fallen in a road match in Big 12 play.

“All of the credit goes to Baylor, they capitalized on our mistakes and made some great plays to earn the win tonight,” Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I liked how we battled back in the second half and I hope that we can keep that momentum heading into the match Sunday.”

Defense was the name of the game in the first half, as the Mountaineers and Bears battled to a nil-nil tie at the intermission. Baylor earned the majority of the chances, outshooting WVU 8-2, while holding a 5-0 advantage in shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes.

WVU’s first chance at the net came in the 22nd minute as sophomore Addison Clark fired a shot from just beyond the 18-yard mark that went wide right. Fellow sophomore Lizzie Mayfield earned the final chance of the first half for the Mountaineers with a shot off of a touch that sailed over the crossbar.

The match switched course in the second half, as the two teams combined to score six goals in the final 45 minutes. Baylor got on the board first after using a header off a corner kick in the 50th minute of play. The Bears’ goal is the first allowed by WVU to a Big 12 Conference opponent this season and the first allowed by the Mountaineers since Georgetown tallied a second-half score on Sept. 15.

The Mountaineers tied the game in the 56th minute as senior forward Jade Gentile sent in a cross from the right side of the box that deflected off a BU defender on the far post and went into the net.

The Bears wasted no time regaining control of the lead, as Elizabeth Kooiman scored her second goal of the game just a minute later. Baylor added a third goal in the 60th minute before Kooiman completed the hat trick in the 79th minute to give BU a 4-1 lead.

With time running out for the Mountaineers, Mayfield curved a left-footed shot into the far side of the net from 25 yards out to cut the lead to two in the 83rd minute. The goal marked Mayfield’s first of the year, while sophomore forward Alina Stahl picked up her second assist of the season.

Senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster earned a season-high eight saves on the night for WVU. She became the first Mountaineer to register eight saves since she recorded nine stops in a 1-1 draw against Penn State on Aug. 19, 2016.

The Mountaineers held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks, while BU outshot WVU 17-10.

West Virginia now leads the all-time series between the two schools 6-2-1 and holds a 2-1-0 advantage in Waco.

The loss ended a 40-match unbeaten streak for the Mountaineers when they have scored exactly two goals, dating back to Sept. 15, 2013, against Kentucky. WVU is now 112-10-4 in program history when scoring two goals.

West Virginia continues its a swing through the Lone Star State, on Sunday, Oct. 6, with a match against Texas. Thursday’s match will kick at 2 p.m. ET and will be aired on the Longhorn Network.

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