WVU midfielder Stefany Ferrer-VanGinkel (21) battles for the ball with Texas defender Emma Regan during the second half on October 2, 2020.

WVU midfielder Stefany Ferrer-VanGinkel (21) battles for the ball with Texas defender Emma Regan during the second half on October 2, 2020.

Senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel of the No. 7 West Virginia women’s soccer team has been the brightest star for the Mountaineers this season. Recently, Ferrer-vanGinkel was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week.

The Barcelona, Spain, native has three goals in the 2020 season so far and is tied for second in the nation for game-winning goals, and is No. 11 nationally in total goals. In both categories, she is tied for No. 1 in the Big 12.

Ferrer-vanGinkel was also named WVU Student-Athlete of the week, for the first time in her career, following her performance in the season-opening win against Iowa State on September 11. Ferrer-vanGinkel used this honor to push herself further on the pitch.

“That was the first time I ever got that, so I was really happy to get it,” Ferrer-vanGinkel said. “It made me work even harder.”

Against Iowa State, Ferrer-vanGinkel tallied the first goal of the season at the 13-minute mark.

“It was just really rewarding to score a goal in the first game and to get a win for the team”, Ferrer-vanGinkel said. “Last season was taken away from us and I was just really excited to play again and my goal was to just score”.

Ferrer-vanGinkel started playing soccer at the age of 10 after moving to Spain from Brazil. Ferrer-vanGinkel credits soccer for helping her make friends, learn the language and for being an outlet for her when growing up.

“It started just as fun”, Ferrer-vanGinkel said. “Then it became a tool for me to come to the United States and to get a scholarship and a degree”.

While Ferrer-vanGinkel is known for her talents on the field, she also excels in the classroom. In her time at WVU, Ferrer-vanGinkel has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.

Ferrer-vanGinkel is majoring in sports management but hopes to have a future in soccer as a professional.

“My goal has always been to play professionally,” Ferrer-vanGinkel said. “I want to try and play for the United States, but if that doesn’t work, I can always try back home”.

WVU head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown emphasized the role Ferrer-vanGinkel has on the team when speaking about her senior. 

"She knows her job and she is confident in her role," Izzo-Brown said. "She isn't afraid to take risks." 

West Virginia is halfway through the season and currently sits at first place in the Big 12. With the promising start for West Virginia, Ferrer-vanGinkel is hopeful for the rest of the season.

“I hope we end up first in the Big 12 and if we play the Big 12 tournament, I want us to win,” Ferrer-vanGinkel said. “I want the team to win and I want us to get better and I think we have a really good chance to win.”

WVU returns to the pitch Friday against Baylor in Morgantown. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+ through Big 12 Now.