West Virginia Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Virginia

Mountaineers rally to cut 3-0 defict to 3-2, but can't break through

Nov. 16, 2008

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – West Virginia’s comeback effort fell short as the 12th-raked Mountaineers fell, 3-2, at ninth-ranked Virginia in NCAA Second Round action Sunday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers, 15-4-3 on the season, took a 3-0 first half lead and held on to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year.

“You have to credit Virginia for taking advantage of our mistakes in the first half. They finished their scoring opportunities,” said Head Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Going down 3-0 at the half was tough but I’m proud of the way our team battled the final 45 minutes. We were close but ran out of time.”

Virginia’s three scores were the most allowed in the first half since a 4-0 deficit in 2002 against Richmond, the program’s first NCAA tournament game.

The Mountaineers finish their season with a 14-3-6 record after winning a third-straight BIG EAST American Division title. The three losses tie the all-time West Virginia mark for fewest losses in a season with the 2002 team (18-3-1).

Trailing 3-0, senior Deana Everrett put the Mountaineers on the board 67 seconds into the second half. Senior Greer Barnes sent a through ball up the middle to the foot of Everrett, who slotted a ball on the ground past goalkeeper Celeste Miles.

Everrett added a second goal in the 64th minute on a header into the side netting on a corner kick from Nicole Mailloux. Everrett’s seventh goal of the season put the Mountaineers down 3-2 with 26 minutes to play.

“I’m proud of how my teammates responded in the second half,” said Everrett. “We came at them hard in the second half and never gave up. We had them on their heels but came up a little bit short.”

The multi-goal effort from Everrett was the seventh of her career. The Oakville, Ontario, native closes her career with 39 goals – good for third-most in school history.

Virginia’s defense held tight down the stretch despite the Mountaineers out-shooting the Cavaliers 7-4 in the second half. Both teams finished with nine shots each, and WVU held an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks.

UVA took an early 1-0 lead when sending the ball over the top of the Mountaineer defense, forcing a corner kick for the Cavaliers. Defender Alli Fries scored on a header from 12 yards out on the serve from Lauren Alwine.

Just before halftime, the Cavaliers added to their lead with two goals in the 44th minute.

At 43:06 Maggie Kistener dribbled around a charging Kerri Butler in goal for West Virginia, sending a ball on the ground in front of the goal line. The shot bounced off the right post and into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.

Forty-six seconds later, it was Alwine again, this time chipping a ball over Butler’s head from 25 yards out for the 3-0 advantage.

The loss snapped West Virginia’s nine-match unbeaten streak entering today’s contest.

“It’s been a special season for a special group of seniors,” said Izzo-Brown. “We battled adversity throughout the year and it seemed like we had a different starting lineup every other weekend. We stuck together and got through the injuries though. We had only three losses this year and we finished today’s game by giving it our all.”

WVU moves to 9-9 all-time in NCAA tournament play, including a 0-3 mark against Virginia in the national tournament.

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