The West Virginia women’s soccer team is off to a less than ideal start to the season.
After being winless in the first four games, the Mountaineers picked up their first win of the season during the weekend. On Friday evening, WVU bested Xavier 3-0 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
It was a strong attacking performance against the Musketeers, as the Mountaineers outshot Xavier 29-2 and recorded 13 shots on goal while Xavier had none. WVU held the advantage on corner kicks 9-1, as well.
Freshmen Addison Clark and Issy Sibley and sophomore Lois Joel all found the back of the net and got on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Goalkeeper Rylee Foster was not even forced to make a save.
Sunday afternoon was a different story. Eleventh-ranked Georgetown visited Morgantown and beat the Mountaineers, 2-0. The winning goal came in the 35th minute, and an insurance goal came in the 76th minute.
Again, WVU piled up a double-digit shot total, having 14 of them with five on target. Georgetown and WVU both had 14 shots, but the Hoyas had more shots on goal, with seven. This was the first time this season that an opponent had more shots on goal than WVU.
On Friday, WVU returns to action in South Carolina as they take on the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is 4-0-2 on the season, with their losses coming against Oregon and 19th-ranked South Carolina.
“They are a dynamic team," said WVU head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "They have won the ACC. They are a top-25 program. They put a lot of numbers forward, they are very good one-on-one. It’s going to be extremely dangerous. Our back-five has to be ready, [goalkeeper] Rylee [Foster] has to be ready, and our back line has got to be ready to eliminate any kind of dangerous shots.”
The Tigers have outscored opponents 9-4 on the season and have forced their opposition to three shutouts.
Mariana Speckmaier leads the team in goals with four and Miranda Westlake is second with three. Courtney Jones is the team leader with two assists. Keeper Maddie Weber has played in four games, allowed four goals and has stopped 10 shots.
Clemson plays very similar to West Virginia in terms of getting lots of shots. The Tigers have double-digit shots in five of their six games played, including two 20 shot performances- 20 shots in a 3-0 win against Wofford and 21 shots in a 4-2 against Indiana.
“Both teams need wins at this point in the season,” said Izzo-Brown. “We need to win."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson, South Carolina and can be streamed on ACC Network Extra on espn.com/watch.