The West Virginia women’s soccer team has been riding a roller coaster this season.
After alternating wins and losses in their first four games, the ups and downs have left the Mountaineers searching to find an identity during the early portion of this season.
At 2-2, West Virginia has shown a lot of character in both their wins and losses.
The Mountaineers lost 2-0 to Duke Friday, but came right back Sunday and dominated Elon, winning 2-0. WVU did the exact same thing at the beginning of the season at the Penn State Invitational as they lost to Penn State and then beat Missouri.
Senior forward Kate Schwindel said she chalks it all up to this team having a lot of heart.
“I think this team has a lot of heart,” Schwindel said. “If we go down one we’re going to fight right back. You saw it at Mizzou. We fought back and I just think this team has a lot of heart, more than any team I’ve been a part of.”
Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said she recognized her team’s heart during the start of the season.
“Obviously this nonconference schedule is tough and it’s definitely a gut check and a character check,” Izzo-Brown said. “It’s going do a lot of things. We don’t want to take those losses early, but rather take them early and see what kind of character we have and how we rebound.”
“It’s important for us to know if we’re unfortunate on a Friday night, how are we going to respond on Sunday? I think that’s what Kate is speaking to in the heart and character we can respond to.”
In the loss to Duke, the Mountaineers didn’t necessarily play a poor game. While Duke managed to slip two balls into the net, the Mountaineers still felt they played well, minus a few missed opportunities.
“It’s always frustrating,” said junior midfielder Amanda Hill following the loss to Duke. “I think we dominated possession and did well. I think we earned the win, but the team that keeps possession doesn’t always win so it’s very frustrating especially when you play well.”
Playing well against Duke translated to Sunday’s match against Elon. Only this time, WVU came away with a win.
The Mountaineers out shot Elon 27-1, and even though the numbers show a major advantage, junior forward Kelsie Maloney still believes there’s room for improvement.
“I don’t think it was our best performance,” Maloney said. “We can definitely do better, we kind of played down to Elon’s pace, but we got the win so that’s all that matters.”
West Virginia will look to win consecutive games for the first time Friday as it takes on Hofstra at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.
“We learn from our mistakes,” Hill said. “(We’ll) watch our mistakes over and over and make sure we don’t repeat the same thing and eliminate them. We’re learning as we go, we’re improving and we’re getting better.”