MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s soccer team capped its spring home slate with its first shutout of the season, a 4-0 win over Xavier this afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
“We got our shutout, and that is what’s important,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I thought Xavier presented a lot of different problems for us, and we were able to break those situations down and find the back of the net. I liked that Xavier showed us different things that we have not looked at as a staff, and that will help us prepare for our next games in two weeks.
“Overall, it was a good day. It was a good win.”
Sophomore forward Sh’Nia Gordon paced the field with four points on two goals, while junior forward Michaela Abam
and sophomore forward Grace Cutler
each earned three points (1 G, 1 A).
Celebrating her birthday, Gordon, a native of Ocklawaha, Florida, netted the game-winner in the 13th minute. After receiving the ball from Abam, Gordon beat her defender near the top of the box before sending a shot toward the far right post.
Cutler extended the advantage to 2-0 in the 37th minute on a penalty kick. Hannah Abraham
earned the chance, as the sophomore forward was pulled down driving toward the frame.
Five minutes later, Cutler and Gordon teamed up for the Mountaineers’ third goal of the half. Cutler sent the ball ahead into the box, and Gordon gave chase. After settling the ball, she sent a low shot toward the far right post.
WVU’s fourth score came off a second penalty kick in the 65th minute, as Abam converted her chance after drawing a foul on a push toward the net.
Abraham nearly earned a goal of her own at the top of the second half, as she took a flick from junior defender Amandine Pierre-Louis
all the way to the end line before taking a close-range shot. Xavier’s Libby Grace met the ball at the right post for the Mountaineers’ first corner kick of the match.
Junior midfielder Carla Portillo
preserved the team’s clean sheet in the 63rd minute. After Xavier placed the ball inside the box on a corner kick, it bounced several times before hitting off the crossbar. Posted on the goal line, Portillo swiftly kicked it back into play.
Unofficially, the Mountaineers finished with a 20-5 shot advantage. WVU forced Grace into five saves, while freshman Rylee Foster
made one stop for the Mountaineers. Xavier earned a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.
The Mountaineers break from action for a week before traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee, for a pair of matches against opponents from the Southeastern Conference on Saturday, April 22. WVU kicks against the host Volunteers at 11 a.m., and a match against Alabama follows at 2:30 p.m.