LAWRENCE, Kan. – Forward Kate Schwindel
’s first half goal and a strong outing from goalkeeper Sara Keane
pushed No. 16 West Virginia past host Kansas, 1-0, Friday evening at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.
Despite playing into a strong wind during the opening half, Schwindel scored the game-winner in the 43rd minute on a blast inside the left post. Freshman Amanda Hill
came away with a 50-50 ball just beyond the center circle, sending a pass up field to senior Bri Rodriguez
. Rodriguez slotted a ball to a Schwindel at the top of the box who drove a ball past a diving Kaitlyn Stroud to her right.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to go on the road and get the result we wanted,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We battled to get that shutout, and Schwindel had a nice finish to what would be the game-winner.”
Schwindel’s goal was her eighth of the season, tying Frances Silva
for the team lead, while Rodriguez and Hill each notched their first assists of the season.
With temperatures in the low 50s and wind gusts up to 20 mph, Keane faced several early shots from the Jayhawks, including two that hit the crossbar in the 24th and 25th minutes from midfielder Amy Grow.
In the 80th minute, Keane came up with a brilliant diving stop to preserve the shutout – her sixth of the season. KU’s Caroline Kastor ripped a shot at the right side of the goal when Keane made a full extension save, pushing the ball wide of the right post.
“We knew Kansas was a good team, and they did throw some pressure at us at times,” said Izzo-Brown. “Fortunately, Keane kept us organized and really played well considering the number of long range shots with these strong winds.”
The Mountaineer back line, with help from its midfield, held on down the stretch to give West Virginia its sixth-consecutive victory. WVU moves to 8-3-3 overall, 4-0-0 in Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks move to 8-4-1 overall, 2-2-0 in conference action. KU was held scoreless for only the third time this season.
Kansas outshot West Virginia, 23-14, led by forward Jamie Fletcher’s five attempts. WVU was paced by Schwindel’s game-best seven shots.
WVU had a scoring chance in the 27th minute off the foot of Silva. Defender Bry McCarthy
sent a long ball to Silva who lofted a shot high of the frame from the right side of the box.
In the 82nd minute, defender Mallory Smith
tried to add an insurance goal off WVU’s eighth corner kick of the match. McCarthy found Smith at the far post where her header was denied by Stroud who smothered the low-liner.
With under five minutes remaining, Silva nearly earned a penalty kick try after beating a defender on the right side. Silva was taken down on a tackle at the touch line inside the box, but no whistle was called.
Eleven of the West Virginia’s 26 goals this season have come in final 15 minutes of the first half or first 15 minutes into the second half.
The Mountaineers conclude a three-game road swing with a match at Iowa State on Sunday, Oct. 7. Kickoff at Cyclone Sports Complex is slated for 2 p.m.