Huge second half lifts Lady ‘Cats to 5-2 win over Wheeling

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – After going down a goal with 30 minutes remaining in the match, the West Virginia Wesleyan (6-10-1, 6-8-1) women’s soccer team scored four goals in a span of 20 minutes to defeat Wheeling (5-11-1, 5-9-1) on Wednesday (Oct. 26) afternoon at Cebe Ross Field on Senior Day. With the win, the Lady Bobcats’ Mountain East Conference playoff hopes are alive with one game remaining on the schedule.

The Lady Bobcats controlled the first half and outshot the Cardinals by eight shots. Despite outshooting Wheeling, the Cardinals got on the scoreboard first when Bailey Walker tapped in a corner pass from Mary DiFonzo in the 18th minute. Wesleyan responded after Gianna Patitucci lofted a set piece just beyond the midfield mark over the goaltender’s head. Beth Burchett capitalized on the opportunity and secured the equalizer for WVWC. The Lady ‘Cats had seven shots on target in the first half. Wheeling goalie Mikayla Yarwood made six saves to limit Wesleyan’s goal total. Both teams were tied heading into the locker room.

In the 60th minute, the Cardinals pulled back in front when Kenadee Burgoyne struck the ball into the back of the net off of a deflection from a WVWC defender. The Lady Bobcats did not back down and Burchett scored her second goal of the afternoon in the 72nd minute to even the score at two. Minutes later, Paloma Zamora slipped a through ball around the Wheeling defense to Burchett, who did the rest and scored what would be the game-winning goal. It was Burchett’s first multi-goal game of her WVWC career.

The Lady Bobcats added two more insurance goals. Senior Madison small created space along the end line and served a pass to Ava Badallo for the score in the 85th minute. Small chalked up another assist in the 89th minute when she took advantage of a corner kick to guide a pass to Megan Noss, who scored her first goal of the season. Wesleyan’s second-half offensive surge secured a three-goal win.

West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer will play Davis & Elkins in Elkins, W.Va. at 5 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 30). Three points separate the Bobcats and Senators in the MEC South Division standings, keeping Wesleyan’s season alive heading into the final match of the regular season.

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