The Mountain State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.


Learn more about HD Media

Mountaineers host Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The No.18-ranked West Virginia women’s soccer team concludes its four-game homestand, hosting Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is tabbed for 1 p.m.

Sunday is Pups on the Pitch Day, and fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to the match. The first 100 dogs in attendance will receive a free WVU dog bandana. Those who wish to bring their dog to the match are required to bring a completed attendance waiver. It’s also a Football and Futbol Weekend, and fans can bring their ticket stub from WVU football’s matchup with LIU on Saturday to receive free admission. There also will be post-match autographs at the conclusion of the game.

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME to avoid lines at the gate on gameday. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each. Any remaining tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors at the stadium ticket window on match day.

WVU student tickets also will be made available at the Mountaineer Ticket Office, located at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The office, as well as the stadium gates, opens at noon on gameday. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid WVU Student I.D.

For those unable to make it to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Sunday, live stats are available at WVUsports.com, and the game can be heard live on 91.7 FM (WWVU) in Morgantown. The match will not be streamed.

“After not getting the result we wanted in the last two matches, we’re really looking to turn our momentum around on Sunday,” coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “Saint Francis will definitely test us, but we’re hoping to be able to continue creating opportunities like we have been and find that finish that’s been missing the last two games.

In its first overtime match of the season, WVU played to a 0-0, double-overtime draw with Georgetown on Sept. 9. The Mountaineers created eight corner kick opportunities, all coming in the second half, but couldn’t manage to find the back of the net for the second consecutive match. Georgetown fought off the WVU attack for much of the contest, outshooting the Hoyas 10-5, including 9-1 in the final 65 minutes of the 110-minute match. Junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey came up with a pair of key saves to keep the clean sheet, her third of the season. The West Virginia offense was once again led by junior defender Julianne Vallerand, as she tallied four shots in the match.

Sunday’s matchup marks the fifth all-time meeting between West Virginia and Saint Francis, as the Mountaineers hold a 4-0-0 advantage in the series. The two teams first met in WVU’s inaugural season on Sept. 18, 1996, with the Mountaineers defeating the Red Flash at home, 2-0. Since that first matchup, West Virginia holds a 3-0-0 advantage in Morgantown. The two programs last met in 2018, with a 2-0 Mountaineer victory over Saint Francis.

Ellie Davis is in her third season as the coach of Saint Francis. However, she only has one full season under her belt in Loretto after the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her first season in 2019, she led the team to a 6-4 mark. The Red Flash are 2-2 so far this season, coming off a loss to No. 20 Pitt on Sept. 9. Prior to that, the squad recorded back-to-back wins against Akron and Robert Morris.

Rita Kendziora leads the team with two goals, and Lauren Pyle follows with one goal and one assist on the year. Sarah McConnon paces the squad in goal with 25 saves as the starting netminder in all five matches.