MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – To say the 2013 season ended on a personal down note for West Virginia University women’s soccer forward Kate Schwindel
is an understatement. Enjoying the most prolific year of her three-year career, the Livingston, New Jersey, native was near the top of the Big 12 Conference and NCAA statistical standings with 28 points (11 G, 6 A) through 17 matches.
Two days after she tallied the game-winning goal in the 101st minute at Oklahoma to secure WVU’s second straight Big 12 regular-season title, Schwindel went down with a knee injury in a 2-0 loss at No. 7 Texas Tech, bringing her junior year to a close.
After 10 months of rehabilitation, Schwindel is more than ready to return to the field and lead her No. 12-ranked team.
“I’m slowly getting more and more confident with my play,” the two-time NSCAA All-Central Region honoree explained. “Physically, I’m holding up pretty well. I’m definitely excited to see what this season brings.”
A part of five conference titles with the Mountaineers, Schwindel has her eyes set on a bigger prize this season – though, she understands there’s a lot of tough work she and her teammates need to accomplish first.
“A deep run in the NCAA Tournament is definitely the main goal,” she said. “We need to focus on the little things first. Preseason is all about getting us together again and focused. I think once we’re connected as a team and ready to go, nothing is going to stop us.”
The Mountaineers woke up this morning to good news from the Big 12 Conference office – they were unanimously selected by the league’s coaches to win the conference title.
WVU, also preseason-ranked No. 1 in 2013, has won two straight regular-season titles since joining the conference in 2012, in addition to the 2013 Big 12 Soccer Tournament title. Last year, WVU became the third team in Big 12 history to win back-to-back regular-season championships. It also marked the seventh time the Big 12’s preseason favorite won the regular-season crown.
No. 17 Texas Tech was slotted No. 2, while Oklahoma State was picked No. 3. Baylor and Texas round out the poll’s top five.
The All-Big 12 preseason team will be announced Thursday.
Three Mountaineers scored an important victory on Tuesday night, as the Canadian U-20 team defeated Korea DPR, 1-0, in the final match of group play at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada, at Olympic Stadium, in Montreal, Quebec.
The Canadians advance to the knockout round and will face Germany on Saturday, August 16, at 8 p.m. ET, at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
Two important members of the Mountaineers’ great run in 2013 are enjoying equal success in the National Women’s Soccer League.
All-American forward Frances Silva and goalkeeper Sara Keane have each seen time on the field for FC Kansas City this season. The Blues (12-7-5) have clinched a playoff spot and home field in the semifinals. The team is on a break and waiting to hear its playoff opponent.
And finally – only 16 days remain before the Mountaineers’ 2014 home season opener at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. WVU plays host to No. 18-ranked Duke, a 2013 NCAA Tournament quarterfinalist, on Friday, August 29, at 7:30 p.m.
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