MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The No. 11-ranked West Virginia women’s soccer team scored a goal in each half and the defense held Duquesne to zero shots as it opened the season with a 2-0 win Friday at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
WVU’s (1-0) marks the third time in the previous five seasons that it has opened the season with a victory. The Mountaineers moved to 11-10-3 in season openers after earning the win in front of 1,589 fans.
“I always talk about Mountaineer Nation and how we have the best fans and they came through tonight,” Mountaineers coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “It was a great crowd and we were excited to have so many people in attendance and it helped us push to the win.”
Senior forward Jade Gentile put the Mountaineers on the board first in the 25th minute when she took a low cross from Jordan Brewster inside the box and sent it over the Duquesne goalie’s head to give WVU a lead.
Gentile’s goal marked the second of her career and the first time she has earned the game-winning goal. Brewster’s assist put her in first amongst active WVU players with five assists in her career.
The Mountaineers added an insurance goal in the 84th minute as Julianne Vallerand fired a left-footed shot from outside the box that landed in the top-right of the net. The goal marked the first of her career, after scoring in her intercollegiate debut.
Senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster recorded her 32nd career shutout as WVU’s defense held Duquesne without a shot. It marks the first time WVU denied an opponent a shot since it held Saint Francis (Pa.) to zero shots on Sept. 16, 2018.
“I am proud of our team, I thought we moved the ball really well,” Izzo-Brown said. “Overall, we did a really good job against a dynamic Duquesne. That team is going to do really good things.”
The Mountaineers outshot the Dukes 21-0. WVU recorded 10 corner kicks in the contest, while holding Duquesne to one.
“I was happy with the way our group battled tonight,” Duquesne coach Al Alvine said. “We didn’t create much in the way of chances, but had some good moments when we were able to keep the ball and string some passes together. We were in the game right up until the final minutes of the game, which hasn’t always been the case when we’ve visited Morgantown.”
WVU improved to 9-0-2 all-time against Duquesne, with all nine wins coming in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers will take on No. 3 Stanford at noon Sunday in University Park, Pa. It is the first of four matchups over the next six games where WVU will face top-10 teams.