Women's Soccer: WVU Falls to No. 14 Wake Forest
By Tim Goodenow for MSNsportsNET.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Three first half goals from 14th-ranked Wake Forest was all the Demon Deacons needed to finish off West Virginia, 3-0, Sunday afternoon in NCAA second-round action at W. Dennie Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“My hat goes off to Wake Forest,” said WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, whose team played its eighth-straight contest away from Morgantown – a program record. “They were clearly the better team today and found a way to put three goals in the back of the net.”
Wake Forest improves to 15-5-2 to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 to face South Carolina, the No. 2 seed in the North Carolina region.
West Virginia ends its season at 10-7-6, its 10th-consecutive 10-plus win season. The Mountaineers return the bulk of its team as 10 freshmen or sophomores started a match this season. Today’s NCAA match marks the final contest for four Mountaineers – Mallory Beck, Carolyn Blank, Nicole Mailloux and Heather Saffel.
“I’m so proud of how our captains – Caroyln, Nicole and Mallory – held this team together all season long,” said Izzo-Brown. “Their leadership and dedication to the program helped this young team make the NCAA tournament.”
The Demon Deacons took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on a goal from forward Jill Hutchinson. Defender Caitlin Farrell started the play with a long service from beyond midfield to the left corner. Forward Kaley Fountain quickly found forward Jill Hutchinson in front of the net where she slotted a ball into the mouth of the goal.
Wake Forest added to its lead in the 25th minute off a free kick as a result of a West Virginia foul in front of the Mountaineer bench. Defender Jackie Logue sent a ball towards the far post and over the head of two Mountaineers where midfielder Casey Luckhurst headed it in from six-yards out.
West Virginia had few scoring chances in the opening stanza, its best chance coming in the 27th minute on a shot from midfielder Caroline Szwed. Forward Morgan Betscher cut one defender and passed the ball into the middle to Szwed whose one-timer sailed high over the crossbar.
At the 34:30 mark, forward Ally Berry made it 3-0 with a header inside the left post to give Wake Forest a comfortable halftime lead.
The Mountaineers struggled to get anything going in the second half to mount a comeback until a formation switch with 22 minutes to play.
In the 71st minute, forward Blake Miller found the crossbar off a direct kick after defender Caralee Keppler was fouled from 30-yards out. Miller’s shot went over the four-person wall and off the top of the crossbar and out of bounds.
Miller added a shot in the 80th minute from 22-yards out, one of her team-high three attempts.
Wake Forest finished with a 16-6 shot advantage, paced by Alisha Woodson’s three attempts.
WVU goalkeeper Kerri Butler made three stops on the afternoon in 79 minutes. Beck worked the final 11 minutes between the posts, making one save.
Eighteen different Mountaineers saw action on the day.