Nicole Payne vs. KSU Sep. 18, 2020

Forward Nicole Payne dribbles into the box against Kansas State on September 18, 2020 at Dick Dlesk Stadium.

The No. 6 West Virginia women's soccer has an opportunity to extend its four-game win streak as it is back in action against the No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks on Friday night in Morgantown. 

In a top-15 matchup, the Mountaineers are coming off of a 1-0 win over Oklahoma. Alina Stahl scored the only goal of the match, marking her third of the season. The Jayhawks, meanwhile, were most recently defeated by TCU, 2-0. 

For Kansas, senior midfielder Ceri Holland and junior defender Kaela Hansen provide the backbone of the squad that also includes freshman standout Moira Kelly at the back. In the net, junior goalkeeper Sarah Peters has conceded only four goals all season. 

The Mountaineers will have to be cautious of their second half performance; Kansas tends to start slowly but come out firing after the break. While the Jayhawks have been outshot 31-16 in the opening 45 minutes, the second half has seen Kansas outshoot opponents 41-27. 

In the Mountaineers' lineup, it appears that head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown has given Kayza Massey the nod over Maddie Murphy for the time being.

What will not change is the sturdy back line that has conceded one goal or less since the Sept. 25 loss to Oklahoma State. Nicole Payne, Gabby Robinson, Jordan Brewster and Mackenzie Aunkst have been arguably the strongest part of the Mountaineer side this season.

Through the midfield, leading scorer Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel will start as the attacking midfielder in charge of starting — or finishing — attacks. Behind her will likely be Juliana Lynch and Isabella Sibley with Addison Clark, Aaliyah Scott and Lilly McCarthy to provide minutes off the bench.

Up top, Izzo-Brown will go with some combination of Stahl, Enzi Broussard, Lauren Segalla and Julianne Vallerand. The Mountaineers are the Big 12 leaders in goals with 14, so they will be looking to find the back of the net more than the single goal they mustered last time out against the Sooners. 

This is the first match of the season that will see fans at Dick Dlesk Stadium in a limited capacity. Fans can tune into the match throgh Big 12 Now on ESPN+.