No. 9 Women's Soccer Set for Big 12 Matches

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 10, 2013 06:29 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 9-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team continues its four-match homestand this weekend with two conference games at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The Mountaineers (9-2-2, 3-0) meet Iowa State (6-6-2, 0-2-1) on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m., before welcoming TCU (4-6-3, 0-2-1) on Sunday for a 12:30 p.m. match. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest has been adjusted, as the two teams were previously scheduled to meet at 1 p.m.

Friday night is the Mountaineers’ Pink Game, and all fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. The Mountaineers raised $15,781 this spring in their effort to help fight breast cancer, pushing their 10-year total to more than $100,000. A check will be presented to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at halftime of Friday’s game.

Fans also are encouraged to bring sundry items, such as scarves, nail polish, books, lotion and socks, for donation to the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center on Friday. No monetary donations will be accepted. A banner will be hanging outside the stadium Friday night, and fans are asked to write the names of loved ones who have been affected by the disease. Fans who write on the banner and/or donate an item will receive one free ticket to Friday’s game.

This weekend’s matches are WVU’s first ever in Morgantown against both opponents. WVU earned a 3-2 win over ISU last season on Oct. 7, in Ames, Iowa. The Mountaineers split their games with TCU last year, taking a 2-1 victory in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 28, before surrendering a 2-0 decision in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals in San Antonio, on Oct. 31.

“Every game is just as important as the last,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We don’t want to fall in to any type of complacency; we aren’t waiting for the postseason. We’re wanting to do something right now, and every game matters.

“We know now that there’s a big target on our back, and we understand that we can make or break a season for every opponent with what we’ve done thus far. We have wins we need to protect. We know that any team in the Big 12 can win on any given day.”

Offensively, senior forward Frances Silva leads the Mountaineers, as the reigning Disney Soccer/NSCAA and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honoree boasts a team- and conference-best 26 points (8 goals, 10 assists), good enough to rank No. 14 in the NCAA. Her 10 assists are No. 3 in the NCAA, No. 1 in the Big 12, while her eight goals rank No. 40 in the NCAA, No. 1 in the conference. She shows 31 career goals and is tied with Laura Kane (2001-04) at No. 6 in the WVU record book. With 81 career points, she continues to rank No. 7 in the program annals.

Silva’s linemate, junior Kate Schwindel, also ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 with eight goals this season. She ranks No. 2 in points (8 goals, 4 assists) and No. 2 in shots (46).

WVU ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 in goals (33), points (101) and scoring offense (2.54), and No. 3 in shots (212). The Mountaineers are No. 10 nationally in points and No. 18 in scoring offense.

The Mountaineers pushed their all-time regular-season Big 12 record to 10-0-1 with a 2-1 win over Texas at Dick Dlesk on Oct. 4, their fifth straight victory of the season. Silva tallied both goals, her first multi-goal game of the year, and WVU was able to hold off a Longhorn comeback effort despite a UT goal in the 49th minute. Freshman midfielder Ashley Lawrence and Schwindel earned the assists on Silva’s goals, and senior goalkeeper Sara Keane made three saves. In addition to the assist, her third of the season, Lawrence finished with a game-high four shots and was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for her efforts.

The Cyclones picked up a pair of draws last weekend, playing to a scoreless 0-0 tie against Kansas in Ames, on Oct. 4, and netting a 1-1 tie at Drake on Oct. 6. Goalkeeper Maddie Jobe made nine total saves, including seven against KU, and was named the Big 12 Defender of the Week. Forward Jennifer Dominguez leads ISU’s offensive attack with 14 points (5 goals, 4 assists), the fifth-best conference mark.

“ISU is a dangerous team – they’re a team that’s capable of winning a lot of games and has just been one goal away,” says Izzo-Brown. “They’ve played a tough schedule. They’ve seen Santa Clara and Stanford. They’ve gone out and played a lot of good teams and have just been a goal away from winning. They’re a physical, hard and emotional team.”

The Horned Frogs went 0-1-1 on the road last weekend, losing 2-0 at Texas Tech on Oct. 4 and earning a 0-0 draw at Oklahoma State on Oct. 6. Forward Michelle Prokof (6 goals, 1 assist) and midfielder Makenzie Koch (4 goals, 5 assists) rank No. 6 in the Big 12 with a team-best 13 points.

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