West Virginia's Julianne Vallerand (26) dribbles past two Saint Francis defenders on Sept. 12, 2021.

West Virginia's Julianne Vallerand (26) dribbles past two Saint Francis defenders on Sept. 12, 2021. 

After an early lead, the No. 15 West Virginia women’s soccer team closed out road non-conference play with a 2-1 win against James Madison University on Thursday night. 

The Mountaineers (5-2-1) were able to get an early goal around the two minute mark when junior forward/midfielder Julianne Vallerand found the top right corner of the goal, making it 1-0 game. Freshman forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran earned the assist on the goal, making it her second assist on the season. 

With the goal Vallerand now has four goals, leading the team, and has nine points in the season so far. 

Junior midfielder Maya McCutcheon had a close chance around the 36-minute mark off a free kick, but it was saved by JMU (2-5-1) redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alexandra Blom. 

West Virginia went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, but minutes out of the break, sophomore midfielder Lilly McCarthy added another goal from the top left corner to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead. 

The Dukes got a lucky break when West Virginia managed to score on its own goal at the 76-minute mark, making it a 2-1 game. 

Despite the goal, JMU was unable to find the momentum to make a comeback, as the Mountaineers came away with the win 2-1. 

West Virginia outshot the Dukes 10 to eight, placing six of them on goal. The squad also managed nine corner kicks. 

WVU junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey only made two saves the entire match. Senior defender Jordan Brewster and junior defenders Gabrielle Robinson and Nicole Payne totaled 90 minutes played.

Brewster and Robinson recently earned weekly awards, with Brewster earning recognition on TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week. Robinson was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, for the second time in her career.

“I’m so happy for both Jordan and Gabby, who have been working hard to get these shutouts and make sure the back line is working hard and working together,” head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. 

With the win, the Mountaineers’ all-time record against JMU moves to 8-1-1. 

West Virginia returns home to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown to host Kent State on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.