By Tim Goodenow for MSNsportsNET.com
October 4, 2009
BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s soccer team used a strong second half, powered by goals from forward Megan Mischler and midfielder Carolyn Blank, to secure a 2-0 win over visiting DePaul Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
After a scoreless first half, the Mountaineers lit the scoreboard first at the 53:13 mark on Mischler’s team-leading fourth goal of the season. Midfielder Bri Rodriguez beat one defender and dribbled the ball towards the end line before sending a cross into the middle of the box. Mischler stepped in front of a Blue Demon defender and headed the ball into the back of the net for the game-winner.
“That was a critical score that Bri Rod created for us,” said WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “It got us on the board and gave us some confidence. It was a great play from Bri Rod and a fantastic finish from Mischler.”
Rodriguez nearly scored moments earlier on a shot in the 53rd minute. The true freshman drove a header just wide of the left post from 10-yards out.
WVU’s offense continued to pressure the DePaul back line, attempting 12 second half shots. The relentless effort paid off with a second goal in the 72nd minute on a brilliant finish from Blank.
Forward Chelsey Corroto, who started her second-straight match, created the scoring chance by beating a defender on the left flank and forcing a corner kick by serving a ball off the defender’s leg.
Defender Nicole Mailloux delivered WVU’s fifth corner kick smack in middle of goal where Blank muscled her way in front of the goal line and one-timed ball into the back of the net. The goal was the third of the season for Blank and 12th of her career.
“Mailloux put a nice ball out there for someone to get and Blank, our All-American, won that battle in the box,” said Izzo-Brown.
Midfielder Morgan Betscher provided a spark off the bench, nearly adding an insurance goal with a pair of shots in 83rd and 84th minutes.
The opening 45 minutes saw most of the action played between the 18-yard boxes with few opportunities for either team. DePaul (7-5-2, 2-3-0 BIG EAST) held a 2-1 shot advantage at the half before the Mountaineers finished with a 13-6 edge.
Blank finished with a game-high four shots while DePaul midfielder Tara Strickland attempted a team-best three shots on the afternoon.
Goalkeeper Kerri Butler worked all 90 minutes between the posts, making three saves to pick up her fifth shutout of the season. The junior made an exceptional punch save in the 81st minute, deflecting a long-range shot from Strickland over the crossbar.
West Virginia (5-4-4, 2-2-1 BIG EAST) returns to action with its final homestand of the regular season Oct. 9-11. The Mountaineers play host to Syracuse Friday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m., as part of a Mountaineer soccer doubleheader presented by EZToUseBigBook.com. Both men’s and women’s matches are “Dollar Night” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for purchase for just one dollar.