Junior midfielder Lilly McCarthy led the offense with one goal and one assist to help the No. 21-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team notch a 3-0 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, on Sunday afternoon.
WVU (2-1-1, 0-0 Big 12) took 29 shots on the afternoon, placing 11 of those on goal, as three different Mountaineers found the back of the net for the first time this season. Senior defender Julianne Vallerand’s first-half header goal was the eventual game winner, the fifth of her career and first since last year’s matchup with the Red Flash on Sept. 12, 2021.
McCarthy paced WVU’s offensive efforts, scoring one goal on four shots, while also assisting Vallerand’s game winner. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Kayza Massey and the WVU defense recorded its second shutout of the campaign, as Massey was called on to make one easy save on SFU’s lone shot of the afternoon. The Mountaineer back line limited Saint Francis’ offensive production, allowing one shot and no corner kicks.
The set piece header goal from Vallerand opened the scoring in the 12th minute, as she took a corner kick from McCarthy and headed the ball out of the reach of the Saint Francis goalie. Vallerand’s 13th career tally was the difference in the first half.
Out of the half, the Mountaineers created opportunity on the attacking end, but couldn’t get a ball to go in until McCarthy extended the lead in the 68th minute. She took a free kick from the right side of the box and bent it toward the far post to score the unassisted goal. Not long after, senior midfielder Aaliyah Scott added another insurance score in the 80th minute, scoring off the rebound from a blocked shot by junior midfielder AJ Rodriguez to give WVU the 3-0 victory.
West Virginia now moves to 6-0 all time against Saint Francis, including 5-0 in Morgantown. Additionally, sophomore forward Aria Bilal tallied her first career starting nod Sunday afternoon, while redshirt senior defender Mackenzie Aunkst made her first appearance on the pitch since sustaining an injury early in the season last fall. Sophomore defender Lisa Schöppl also recorded her first minutes of the season.
Up next, the Mountaineers ready for their first two-game road swing of the campaign, as it travels to Auburn, Alabama, for a pair of matches next week. WVU opens the weekend against No. 16 Auburn on Thursday, September 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET, at Auburn Soccer Complex.