The West Virginia women’s soccer team, despite being chosen as the favorite to win the Big 12 Conference by the league’s head coaches, faces a tough road ahead in conference play.
While the Mountaineers defeated Iowa State on Friday night to kick off conference play, their remaining conference schedule has them taking on three teams that are currently ranked in the top 25 of the United Soccer Coaches’ poll: Kansas (No. 17), Oklahoma State (18) and Texas Tech (25).
Later this week, WVU will kick off against Baylor (5-3-3) and Texas (7-4) — two opponents that West Virginia head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown says will challenge her team.
“Baylor, Texas — that’s gonna be two tough games, obviously,” Izzo-Brown said following Friday’s game. “We’ve gotta kinda bunker down and get ready for two tough road games.”
Baylor and Texas are only two of the nine conference opponents that WVU will face this season.
On Oct. 10, Texas Tech travels to Morgantown. The Red Raiders are currently 9-1-1 this season and have won seven of their last eight matches.
Offensively, they are led by junior midfielder Kirsten Davis who has 11 goals through 11 games this season.
One week later, the Mountaineers will host Oklahoma State at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Since WVU joined the Big 12 in 2012, the Cowboys have never defeated West Virginia.
Oklahoma State, currently holding a 7-1-3 record, has been propelled by the defensive efforts of Dani Greenlee. The junior goalkeeper has 23 saves so far this season while boasting a goals against average of 0.73.
Three days later, West Virginia will take on Oklahoma for the first time since defeating the Sooners in the 2018 Big 12 Championship.
The 5-4-3 Sooners are led offensively by redshirt senior forward Kaylee Dao who leads the team with eight goals.
Kansas is the next conference foe the Mountaineers will face off with as WVU travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on the Jayhawks on Oct. 24.
Currently sitting with a record of 9-3, goalkeeper Sarah Peters ranks toward the top of the Big 12 in goals against average.
The 2-7-2 Kansas State Wildcats will follow their instate counterparts as they take on WVU on Oct. 27.
The Mountaineers will wrap up their conference and regular season schedule when they take on TCU at home on Oct. 31.