Postgame video: Claire Pinciaro
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- Princeton scored a goal early in each half and held off a late charge to defeat West Virginia, 2-1, Saturday night in first round action of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.
Princeton will face fourth-seeded Marquette, a 3-0 winner over Illinois State on Friday, in Provo, Utah next Thursday (November 15) at 5 pm eastern time (3 pm local).
Princeton (14-3-1) was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 when it lost a first round match to West Virginia by a 2-1 score. The match was eerily similar in that it was West Virginia that scored twice and had to hold off a late Princeton charge.
Princeton has won 12 consecutive matches, the program's longest winning streak since 2002. West Virginia (11-5-4) had been unbeaten in straight matches before being upset in the opening round of the Big XII Tournament by TCU.
It was the first win by an Ivy League program since 2005 when Yale defeated Central Connecticut and Duke. Princeton's last NCAA win was in 2004 during its run to the national semifinals. The Tigers are now 7-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead when Lynessa McGee's shot from just inside the box found the top right corner of the goal 4:49 into the match. Several clanks off the crossbar by both teams and a nifty save by Tiger keeper Claire Pinciaro on a breakaway followed, but the score remained 1-0 through the intermission.
Early in the second half, it was 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year Jen Hoy adding an insurance marker. Hoy's 18th goal of the season gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with 36 minutes to play.
The Mountaineers got on the board with 8:21 remaining in regulation time when Frances Silva headed in a high cross by Kelsie Maloney from about 8 yards. That cut the Princeton lead to 2-1. It was Silva's 11th goal of the season.
As a raucous crowd came to life, West Virginia had several late chances, but the Tigers held on to advance to the second round.
Pinciaro finished with seven saves on the night, six of those coming in the first half. West Virginia held a 20-12 advantage in shots and 6-2 in corner kicks.