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You Need to Pay Attention to WVU Women’s Soccer and Here Is Why

NCAA Football: Missouri at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

You may not be aware of this yet, but West Virginia University has a pretty darn good women’s soccer team this year. In fact, the Mountaineers are 16-1-1 on the season and are ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll and the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25.

More than just that, WVU finished Big 12 Conference play at 8-0-0 and conceded zero goals. That’s 720 minutes of scoreless soccer. WVU has a total of 12 clean sheets in 2016 and has a goals against average of 0.333. Also, that was the fifth-straight Big 12 Regular Season Title for the Mountaineers, which is every year they’ve competed in the conference.

Now, WVU turns its focus to the Big 12 Soccer Championship tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. The Mountaineers will face No. 8 seeded Texas Tech on Wednesday, November 2, at 12:30 p.m., and can be viewed on the Big 12 Digital Network. Semifinal matches will be held on Friday, November 4, and the championship match will be on Sunday, November 6, at 3:30 p.m., on FS1.

Award Winners

For their efforts, three members of the team were given Big 12 awards. The 2016 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year is Kadiesha Buchanan. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where Canada finished third.

Forward Michaela Abam was named the 2016 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. The junior from Houston tallied eight goals and four assists on the campaign. That is the second-most goals in the conference.

Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown was awarded the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fifth-straight year; this feat is a first for the Big 12. Izzo-Brown is the only coach of the WVU women’s soccer program, the 21st year together. Under her guidance, WVU has made 16 NCAA tournament appearance and will assuredly push that to 17 in a row this season.

On top of the standout performances from Abam and Buchanan, the Mountaineers were supported by midfielder Carla Portillo, forward Sh’Nia Gordon, midfielder Ashley Lawrence—who is a teammate of Buchanan’s on the Canadian Women’s National Team—and freshman goalkeeper Rylee Foster.

Wins on Wins on Wins

WVU started their season with a draw against Penn State. That was followed by eight wins in a row, including victories over then-ranked Clemson, Ohio State and Duke before falling to Georgetown on September 18.

Since falling 1-0 to the Hoyas, the Mountaineers have won nine games in a row, and only surrendered one goal, to Richmond on September 23, to total 754 minutes without conceding a goal. The Mountaineers also score 16 goals in those nine wins.

In total, the Mountaineers have only conceded six goals in 18 games while scoring 36. Moreover, WVU has only allowed 116 shots in total.

This is no doubt the most successful season in program history, but WVU women’s soccer has been building to this success. Last season, WVU’s season ended at the NCAA Elite Eight and a No. 7 ranking in the NSCAA and TopDrawerSoccer.com polls.

The Mountaineers currently sit at No. 2 in the NCAA RPI as they head into Big 12 Soccer Championship play. You can watch all the games on the Big 12 Digital Network.