MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior midfielder Isabella Sibley recorded her first career brace to lift the No. 21-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team over Texas Tech, 2-0, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown on Sunday afternoon.
In the squad’s annual Pink Match to support breast cancer awareness and the WVU Cancer Institute, Sibley put the Mountaineers on the board in the 71st minute on a ball from junior midfielder Maya McCutcheon. Then, she added the finishing touches on the win and the brace in the 90th minute, giving WVU (9-4-2, 3-2-1 Big 12) third Big 12 win of the season, as well as its seventh shutout of the campaign.
“This was a senior moment for someone like Isabella Sibley, who really wanted to make sure we got the win today,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I was so proud of her for the kind of leadership she brought. We needed that win. I thought we had so many chances, which was the same thing as Thursday’s game, but she got a big senior moment and finished.”
The first 45 minutes was a defensive battle, with only 10 total shots between the two teams. However, West Virginia created a pair of early chances before the 10-minute mark, as freshman forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran tallied a two well-placed headers that just narrowly missed the back of the net.
West Virginia’s offense continued to create chances throughout the rest of the half, while the defense held the Red Raiders to just one shot on goal and a pair of corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes. Despite a final Mountaineer shot opportunity after an ensuing free kick in the attacking third, the two teams returned to the locker room knotted at 0-0.
Out of the half, the two attacks were once again quiet, as each team’s defense succeeded in denying their opponents a shot opportunity. The Mountaineers found their spark in the 71st minute, though, when McCutcheon found Sibley open right outside the 18-yard box. Sibley dribbled just inside the box and took a shot, which was past the reach of the Texas Tech keeper for the West Virginia goal.
From there, the Red Raiders upped their attack, playing from behind, but the Mountaineer defense held tough. Junior goalkeeper Kayza Massey made a key stop with under 15 minutes to go in the match. TTU rifled in a header that looked like it had a chance, but Massey made the diving stop to save the shutout. In the 90th minute, the Mountaineer attack made a press for their insurance goal. McCutcheon took a shot that was saved, but Sibley got ahold of the rebound and sent it into the net, putting the finishing touch on her first career brace and the 2-0 victory.
West Virginia outshot Texas Tech, 14-8, while also tallying seven shots on goal to the Red Raiders’ three. The two teams earned four corner kicks apiece, and Massey made a trio of key saves in the match, earning her fifth shutout of the season. TTU’s Madison White stopped five Mountaineer shots, allowing the game-winning goal off the boot of Sibley at the 70:21 mark. Sophomore midfielder Lilly McCarthy and Heredia-Beltran led the WVU offense in shots, each adding four.
WVU now moves to 9-3-1 all-time against the Red Raiders, while also improving to 4-2-1 in games played in Morgantown. Sibley became the 126th Mountaineer all-time to score two goals in a game, while the Uxbridge, England, native is the second two-goal scorer for the Mountaineers this season, after redshirt senior forward Lauren Segalla also scored a pair against Iowa State on Sept. 24.
The Mountaineers now prepare for their final road trip of the regular season, as they travel to Austin, Texas, for a two-game road swing through the Lone Star State. First up is a match at Texas on Thursday, Oct. 21, with kickoff at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.