West Virginia women’s soccer team has nine seniors on the current roster.
They get a lot of the attention and carry the load for the Mountaineers on offense and defense, as well as being called upon for leadership and to help develop the younger players.
It is not just the seniors that are making a difference for the Mountaineers.
There are plenty of underclassmen that are producing for WVU.
Sophomore midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel leads the team in points with 12 and goals with five. She has played in all 15 games with seven starts.
Another sophomore, forward Lauren Segalla, has started all 15 games. She has scored twice and has recorded three assists.
Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown has given the younger players a lot of praise over the course of the season.
“You look at Jordan Brewster, and I don’t give her enough credit, coming in and having to learn so much that these three seniors have learned," Izzo-Brown said. "But she’s just doing an incredible job of just plugging in and plugging into some big shoes of the defensive player of the year last year and a professional player.”
Izzo-Brown is talking about Amandine Pierre-Louis, who won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017. Pierre-Louis is now playing professionally for Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Brewster is a freshman who has started every game in the back for WVU. She and senior Easther Mayi Kith have formed a tough back line for opposing offenses to break.
“Then you kind of move up, and Grace Cutler has taken care of a lot of young midfielders. Steffie [sophomore Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel] has been huge. And then Addie Clark, another freshman, that has had a huge role,” Izzo-Brown said.
Clark has started the last nine games and has scored one time. That came in the 3-0 win against Xavier on Aug. 30.
“They have brought so much,” said senior Bianca St. Georges of the younger players. “I’m so happy about our underclassmen. They have been really important to the team.”
St. Georges, who scored both goals in WVU’s come-from-behind victory against Texas, has been one of the leaders for the Mountaineers.
She was just named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. According to wvusports.com, “To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.”
St. Georges compares the seniors and upperclassmen to big sisters and loves the energy that they play with.
“Their energy and innocence help us. They really add a huge impact to the team,” she said
This weekend, WVU will be put to the test on the road- it will be their third road game in a road. On Friday, West Virginia will travel to Oklahoma State for an always physical game, then will wrap the weekend up in Norman against Oklahoma.
“It’s not easy, but I think [the underclassmen] have done it very effectively and gracefully and have taken a lot of pride in doing it,” Izzo-Brown said.