UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A strong defensive showing was thwarted by a one-timer shot, and the No. 9-ranked West Virginia women’s soccer team fell, 1-0, at No. 4 Penn State on Friday, in the season opener for both teams.
Statistically, the Mountaineers (0-1) outmuscled the Nittany Lions (1-0), but a sneaky goal by sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer in the 80th minute gave WVU its first season-opening loss since 2014.
Alone at the top of the 18-yard box and with the ball at her feet, Moyer took the angle on the Mountaineer backline and sent a low shot away from the reach of WVU junior goalkeeper Rylee Foster and toward the far-left post.
WVU finished with a 13-7 shot advantage and earned a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. The Mountaineers forced PSU goalkeeper Amanda Dennis into five saves, while Foster stopped three for WVU.
The match was delayed by 50 minutes by bad weather.
Needing a goal with less than four minutes remaining, Mountaineer freshman midfielder Addison Clark earned a chance outside the box. She sent a hard shot toward the goal line, but Dennis was there at the line for her last save of the match.
Senior forward Sh’Nia Gordon paced the field with three shots, including a nice look just before the decisive goal. Senior defender Bianca St. Georges pushed the ball forward before sending it toward the line. Gordon gave chase and earned a shot near the right post, which was stopped by Dennis.
Just 11 minutes before the decisive goal, Foster stopped a chance by PSU’s Kerry Abello, pushing a long shot wide and out. The Mountaineers defense successfully defended the ensuing corner kick before flipping the field.
The Mountaineers earned a 5-1 edge in shots in the first half and a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Mountaineers resume action against Arkansas on Sunday, with first kick scheduled for noon at Jeffrey Field. Earlier Friday, the Razorbacks earned a 1-0 victory over Duquesne.