Mackenzie Aunkst (2) dribbles up field in game versus Georgetown on Sept. 9, 2021.

Mackenzie Aunkst (2) dribbles up field in game versus Georgetown on Sept. 9, 2021.

The No. 18 West Virginia women’s soccer team concluded their four-game homestand with a 5-0 win against Saint Francis on Sunday afternoon.

“It felt great to finally put the ball in the back of the net,” head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I thought the tempo of the game was good, and we moved the ball well. We’ve been struggling to finish recently.” 

Junior forward/defender Julianne Vallerand was first on the board for West Virginia. After 24 minutes of play, senior defender Jordan Brewster sent a corner kick flying and Vallerand hit a header into the back of the net. 

Minutes later, forward Lauren Segalla was able to capitalize on assists by senior midfielder Isabella Sibley and freshman defender Lisa Schöppl. 

West Virginia passed the ball well to add on to its lead with 10 minutes to go before halftime. Midfielder Aaliyah Scott found forward/midfielder Aj Rodriguez inside the box, unable to make a shot attempt; she passed Sibley, who was able to find the back of the net. 

Forward/midfielder Leah Sparacio earned her first collegiate goal in the second half of the match after an assist by fellow freshman forward Rhea Kijowski at the 42-minute mark, making the score 4-0. 

Out of the break, Vallerand sent a cross inside the 18-yard box, and freshman forward Dilary Herdia-Beltran pushed it past the goalie. The goal at the 58-minute mark was Herdia-Beltran’s first collegiate goal for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia tallied 31 shots with 13 of those on goal. The squad also created 16 corner-kick opportunities which tied the most in a single game this season. 

The West Virginia defense didn’t allow a single Saint Francis shot in the game and also prevented SFU from attempting any corner kicks. It was the first time the squad has held a team to no shots since August 23, 2019. 

Vallerand led the offensive with nine shots in the match, which is the most for a West Virginia player since Michaela Abam also recorded nine shots against Texas Tech on October 19, 2017. 

Next up for the Mountaineers they travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for just their second road contest of the season. The team will take on James Madison Thursday, Sept. 16. Kickoff against the Dukes. The match is set to start at 7 p.m., at Sentara Park.