MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Never before has the West Virginia women’s soccer team scored so many goals. A few days after the Mountaineers missed multiple goal-scoring opportunities on the road in the season-opener, the friendly confines of Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium created a historic scoring atmosphere.
West Virginia (1-1) scored 11 minutes into the match, and twice more in the first half Sunday against visiting Saint Francis. The Mountaineers then took their scoring efforts to new heights.
Six Mountaineer players scored after the intermission, bringing West Virginia’s total to nine by the final whistle. The 9-0 win counted as the most-lopsided game in program history, and the most goals scored in one game in the history of the program, as well.
“We knew that we had to continue that hunt for consistency and execution, and that was obviously something we were able to do today,” head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said.
In all, nine different players scored for the home club Sunday. Three players — Taylor White, Jordyn Wilson, and Natalie Zibinskas — recorded their first goals with the Mountaineers.
AJ Rodriguez scored West Virginia’s initial goal of the season early in the first half. Dilary Hedria-Beltran joined her in the goal-scoring department four minutes later, and Maddie Moreau used her head and one of the posts to tack on another goal, giving West Virginia a 3-0 lead.
The Mountaineers led by that score for the next 26 minutes, but the floodgates opened after the intermission.
Maya McCutcheon got the second-half scoring started in the 53rd minute. White made the score 5-0 five minutes later off a feed from Rodriguez. Emily Thompson followed Moreau’s example and used her head to score on a crossing pass from Wilson, which put the Mountaineers ahead by six.
Wilson, a freshman, scored just over four minutes later. Zibinskas, in her second year with the program, broke away from the Saint Francis keeper and scored an open-net goal roughly five minutes later. That goal tied the single-game program record (eight), a mark that had only been hit three times previously, and not since Sept. 6, 2015.
WVU scored its historic ninth goal in the final minute of the match, following a foul near the box committed by the Red Flash. Veteran Julianne Vallerand logged the ninth goal of the day and helped the 2023 Mountaineers enter the record books in the process.
In all, West Virginia attempted 33 shots on the day, 18 of which were on target. By comparison, WVU’s keepers did not log an official save, and Saint Francis did not record a shot.
Sunday’s contest was delayed roughly 30 minutes from its original 1 p.m. ET start time on account of transportation issues with the Saint Francis bus. According to one WVU team official, the Red Flash had to pull off the interstate near Coopers Rock State Forrest to make repairs before arriving at the stadium.
Izzo-Brown’s crew now has three full days to prepare for its next match, which will be a highly anticipated showdown at home against Penn State. The Nittany Lions eliminated the Mountaineers from the NCAA Tournament last year, and West Virginia is looking for its first outright victory against Penn State since 2017.