MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s soccer team earned a come-from-behind, 3-2 win over Oklahoma at John Crain Field in Norman, Oklahoma, on Sunday.
The Mountaineers (6-4-7, 3-1-4 Big 12) fell behind early, but were able to fight back with three unanswered goals for the comeback road win. Junior midfielder AJ Rodriguez scored a pair of goals to tie the contest, before sophomore forward Dilary Heredia-Beltran netted the game-winning goal in the 79th minute.
Oklahoma struck early, finding the back of the net in the 18th minute, before doubling its lead later in the half for a 2-0 advantage. However, Rodriguez helped the Mountaineers cut the deficit in half just before the break with a goal in the 38th minute. Freshman forward Taylor White fed the ball back to Rodriguez at the top of the box, where she was able to dribble around the OU defenders to get a goal back.
At halftime, the score stood at 2-1 in favor of Oklahoma, and it held until the mid-way point of the second half when it was Rodriguez again who found the answer for WVU. Coming off a Mountaineer corner kick in the 73rd minute, senior forward/defender Julianna Vallerand sent it across the box to the far post where Rodriguez waited to send it in and equalize the score line. The Austin, Texas, native secured the first brace of her career and moved her season total to a team-leading five goals, including eight for her career.
West Virginia didn’t stop there, however, as the game-winning strike from Heredia-Beltran sailed into the goal mouth with just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest. The Wichita, Kansas, native dribbled into the attacking third, sent a powerful ball from just outside the 18 and it found the back of the net for the lead. The goal was her second of the year, as well as the third game winner of her Mountaineer career.
The Mountaineers led the Sooners, 17-9, in shots, while they just edged OU in shots on goal, 9-7. WVU took eight corner kicks, including five in the first half, compared to just four for Oklahoma. Senior goalkeeper Kayza Massey made five saves in the match, and OU’s Mackenzie Short stopped five Mountaineer shots.
Rodriguez was the offensive spark for West Virginia on Sunday, netting a pair of scores to lead the comeback, while Heredia-Beltran took five shots and was credited with the game-winning goal in the 79th minute.
With the win, WVU remains unbeaten all-time against the Sooners, with its lead in the series moving to 13-0-1, including 6-0-1 in games played in Norman. Rodriguez’s brace was the second two-goal performance for a Mountaineer this season, after fifth-year senior forward Lauren Segalla tallied a pair of scores in a 2-0 win at Iowa State on Sept. 25. It marked the 128th two-goal scorer for WVU in program history.
Also of note, fifth-year senior defender Jordan Brewster made her 95th career start on Sunday, tying the program record, which was set by Sh’Nia Gordon in 2015-18.
West Virginia now returns to Morgantown to wrap up regular-season play, welcoming Kansas State to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 27. The match is slated for 7 p.m. ET, and will be Senior Night, as the Mountaineers celebrate the careers of five senior members of the squad. It’s also Dollar Night, with tickets and select concessions available for $1 each.