WVU Welcomes No. 6 Penn State, Miami

  • By Tim Goodenow
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  • August 30, 2012 02:40 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fresh off its upset win over previous No. 1 Stanford, the West Virginia women’s soccer team resumes action this weekend as host of the WVU 90 Minute Classic at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

West Virginia, Penn State, Miami and Pitt make up the four-team field. Pitt and Miami will square off on Friday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m., followed by No. 24 WVU versus sixth-ranked Penn State at 7 p.m. Action concludes on Sunday, Sept. 2, as WVU battles Miami at noon, followed by Penn State and Pitt at 2:30 p.m.

“We are excited to bring some quality soccer to Morgantown this weekend,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We have teams from the ACC, Big Ten and Big East, and each game will be competitive.

Friday’s contest has been deemed a “Gold Rush,” and the Mountaineer Maniacs will distribute 150 gold shirts to fans at the match.

Four Mountaineers have scored goals this season, including junior Frances Silva’s game-winner against the Cardinal last time out. True freshman Kailey Utley leads the team in points with three from her one-goal and one-assist effort against Western Carolina.

Penn State is coming off an impressive 5-0 victory over Central Michigan on Aug. 26. Erica Walsh, now in her sixth season at the helm of PSU soccer, has her team off to a 3-1 start that includes two shutouts.

“We are looking for a big crowd on Friday against a Top-10 team in Penn State,” says Izzo-Brown. “We are very familiar with them, and they are a dangerous and well-coached team.”

The Nittany Lions are led by All-America midfielder Christine Nairn, the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Nairn scored three goals last weekend, including the game-tying goal against then-No. 1 Stanford, and recorded two goals and an assist against the Chippewas.

WVU is 5-4-0 all-time against the Nittany Lions, including a 2-2 mark at home.

Miami carries a 2-2 record into the weekend behind second-year coach Tom Anagnost. The Hurricanes are looking to get back in the win column after a 1-0 overtime loss at the hands of No. 9 UCF on Aug. 26. Miami also scored an impressive 4-1 win at then-No. 21 Florida to open the season.

“Miami is coming off a successful season a year ago in a very tough ACC,” adds Izzo-Brown. “They had a great win at Florida to start this season and will offer another good challenge for our team.”

The Hurricanes have recorded eight goals this season and allowed only three. Seven different UM players have tallied goals in the early going.

Miami returns seven starters from a year ago, including three All-ACC performers in Kate Howarth, Ashley Flinn and Tara Schwitter, in addition to All-Big East midfielder Tina Romagnuolo who transferred from Syracuse.

The Mountaineers are 3-2-0 all-time against Miami, including 2-0 at home.

Admission is free for WVU students with a valid student ID, $5 for adults, $3 for youths 18 and under and seniors. Tickets are $2 per person for groups of 10 or more. Fans unable to attend tomorrow’s match can follow the Mountaineers at home all season long via GameTracker and a free WebStream presented by Kroger at WVUsports.com.