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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview: NCAA Women’s Soccer Final Four

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The Mountaineer women’s soccer team heads to the San Francisco Bay Area on a business trip to try to bring home WVU’s first non-rifle national championship.

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MLS: Avaya Stadium Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

OPENING THOUGHTS

All I have to say about this team is WOW.

The WVU women’s soccer team has brought attention to the sport within the state with their success and it is obvious we have one of the best soccer coaches in history in Nikki Izzo-Brown.

Their magical season has been incredible to watch and we look forward to seeing them bring home the College Cup.

They also have the support of other Mountaineer coaches:

"Okay. I wanted to start today by congratulating Nikki Izzo-Brown and the women’s soccer team, wishing them luck moving forward in to the College Cup out in San Jose. Good luck to the gang there playing North Carolina. I think they’re leaving today is that right? Safe travels and the best of luck."

-Dana Holgorsen; November 29, 2016

Also got an extremely inspirational quote from Bob Huggins:

"It’s no fun coming home losing."

"What a great opportunity. You know it’s kind of neat to get there and then you lose and then it’s just miserable"

-Bob Huggins; November 28, 2016

I’m so pumped right now, thanks Bob.

Weather you’re into soccer or not, this is game is something all West Virginia fans should watch because it is just amazing what these girls have done this season.

I can’t think of a better game for the Mountaineers than going up against North Carolina, the most successful women’s soccer team in the country (21 national titles).

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Friday, December 2nd

Kickoff Time: 5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT

Where: Avaya Stadium, San Jose, CA

Tickets: General Public

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPNU

Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the WatchESPN app for smartphones)

Radio: WZST Variety 101 (100.9 FM in Morgantown)

Streaming Audio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (LINK HERE)

WEATHER FORECAST

For those who live in the Bay Area, expect nothing but sun. At kickoff, the temp should be in the lower 60s and a little breezy. By the time the game end, it should be dipping into the 50s as the sun goes down.

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Series History: North Carolina leads series 1-0

Last Time: No. 1 North Carolina 4, No. 19 West Virginia 2 on September 8th, 2013 in Chapel Hill

SB Nation Blog: Tar Heel Blog

Record: 17-3-4 (6-2-2 ACC)

Head Coach: Anson Dorrance

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Out-working UNC goalie Lindsey Harris. Harris has been phenomenal inside the penalty box, allowing only 14 goals in 24 matches. The match-up between WVU’s high scorers like Michaela Abam and Sh’Nia Gordon will be worth the price of admission.
  • Limiting shooting opportunities in the second half. WVU allows much more shots in the second half than in the first. That cannot be acceptable against a long-term powerhouse like North Carolina.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

Ten. North Carolina is the ultimate soccer program in the country. They will be the ultimate challenge for WVU in this tournament.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

UNC is a great defensive team, but WVU has prided themselves in having the ability to win close matches against traditional powers as they have against Penn State (I know it was a draw, but it was a moral victory), Duke (TWICE!!), UCLA and Ohio State. I think the Mountaineers come out on top in a really tightly contested match.

West Virginia 2, North Carolina 1 (OT)