MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s soccer team opens BIG EAST Conference play at USF on Thursday, Sept. 15. Kickoff at USF Soccer Stadium is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Mountaineers (4-3-0) are coming off a pair of home wins last week, defeating Marshall and High Point – both matches that featured lightning delays.
West Virginia is 5-1-1 all-time against South Florida, including a 2-1-0 mark in Tampa. Thursday’s contest is a rematch of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship where Meghan Lewis’ game-winner in the 82nd minute gave WVU a 1-0 victory for its second conference tournament title.
“We are excited to get into conference play where everyone starts with a clean slate,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Tomorrow’s match will be very physical, and it will be their first BIG EAST match in their new stadium. We will need to be focused for a full 90 minutes to try and pull out an important road win.”
The Mountaineers are 1-1-1 in their last three meetings with USF. West Virginia has outscored the Bulls 10-2 in the series, including five shutouts.
USF (4-2-1) is led by fifth-year coach Denise Schilte-Brown. The Bulls were picked to finish fourth in the American Division in the 2011 BIG EAST preseason coaches’ poll.
USF is coming off its most successful season with a trip the BIG EAST finals and first-ever NCAA tournament. Senior forward Chelsea Klotz was named to the 2011 preseason all-BIG EAST team after leading the 2010 squad with 11 goals.
Klotz has recorded five points and sophomore forward Demi Stokes leads the team with seven points on three goals and one assist. Goalkeeper Nicole McClure has allowed eight goals in seven contests this season, making 21 saves.
West Virginia closes out the week with a home match against Marquette on Sunday, Sept. 18, on Breast Cancer Awareness Day.