MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 17 West Virginia women’s soccer team concludes regular season play with a match at BIG EAST rival Pitt on Friday, Oct. 21. Kickoff at Ambrose Urbanic Field, Pitt’s new soccer complex, is slated for 7 p.m.
West Virginia won a pair of crucial BIG EAST road matches last weekend to remain in first place of the American Division standings, knocking off Providence, 1-0, and Connecticut, 2-1. A win over Pitt on Friday would give WVU its fifth division title.
“Our ladies are very aware of what is at stake tomorrow night,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We need to make sure we go out and play a focused 90 minutes of West Virginia women’s soccer. It’s important to close the regular season strong and carry that momentum into postseason play.”
The Mountaineers have won 11 of their last 12 matches, with sophomore forward Frances Silva scoring a goal in three straight matches. Senior forward Blake Miller boasts a team-best seven goals, while teammates Bry McCarthy and Kate Schwindel lead the team in assists with six each.
West Virginia has posted eight shutouts on the season behind first-year goalkeeper Sara Keane – seven credited to Keane. BIG EAST foes are averaging less than five shots on-goal per game against the Mountaineer defense.
WVU is 12-2-1 all-time against Pitt, with all 15 meetings played during the regular season. West Virginia is 5-2-1 in road contests against the Panthers. The Panthers have been shutout only twice in the last nine meetings.
Pitt is led by ninth-year coach Sue-Moy Chin, who returns eight starters from her 2010 squad that qualified for the BIG EAST Championship. The Panthers were picked to finish eighth in the American Division of the BIG EAST preseason coaches poll. Pitt’s lone conference win this season was a 6-1 blowout over St. John’s on Oct. 9.
Junior forward Ashley Cuba leads the offensive attack with a team-best eight goals on 46 shots. Pitt’s opponents have taken 100 more shots than the Panthers (309-209) while its defense has surrendered 2.5 goals per game (45 goals) this season.