By Tim Goodenow for MSNsportsNET.com
August 27, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO – Ashtin Larkin dished out two assists to lead the West Virginia women’s soccer team to a 3-0 road victory over Bowling Green Friday evening at Cochrane Soccer Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio.
“It’s always good to win on the road,” said Larkin, a co-captain. “Bowling Green played us a bit differently and we adjusted at halftime. We did a good job of continuing our attack and putting it all together to pick up a win.”
WVU took an early 1-0 lead off the foot of midfielder Caroline Szwed in the 20th minute. Midfielder Ashtin Larkin took the ball up the right side and found Szwed above the 18-yard box. Szwed turned quickly on the pass from 25 yards out and sent a ball hard on the ground that skipped past BG goalkeeper Becca Ison and into the back of the net.
The Mountaineers went ahead 2-0 at the 62:12 mark on a goal from defender Mallory Smith, the first of her career. Forward Megan Mischler generated a corner kick off a shot deep inside the box that was pushed wide by new second half goalkeeper Laura Arnold. BG cleared the corner to the sideline where Larkin quickly sent it back into the box to Smith, who positioned herself in front of a defender, for a one-touch finish.
“I credit Ashtin for making things happen in the second half,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “She stepped her play up today and that is what we need from her.”
Freshman forward Frances Silva netted her first goal as a Mountaineer in the 78th minute. Forward Katie Lenz served a beautiful ball inside the box where Silva out-jumped a defender to finish a header upper 90 for the last score of the match. Silva also finished with a game-best four shots.
“Mallory and Frances were very good today,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Being special in the box is something we’ve talked a lot about. And those two were excellent at it today.”
The Mountaineers opened the match with a pair of headers that both were sent wide of the net from forward Blake Miller and defender Drea Barklage.
Midfielder Steph Carpenter nearly added a first half goal with a shot that trickled just past the left post with 12 minutes remaining in the half.
Forward Nicolette DeLaurentis took a long shot in the 42nd minute forcing a diving stop from Ison, leaving the ball to crawl slowly in front of the net. A Falcon defender hustled to clear the ball off the line and end the Mountaineer threat.
The Mountaineers built a 15-2 shot advantage after 45 minutes of play against a packed-in Bowling Green defense and finished with 26 attempts on the night.
Forward Emily Dillon and the Mountaineer offense kept the pressure on in the second half. Dillion ripped a shot in the 74th minute off a Kristen Felice pass into the middle to force an Arnold save.
WVU goalkeeper Kerri Butler worked all 90 minutes to pick up her first shutout of the season. The senior is now six clean sheets away from becoming the school’s all-time shutouts leader.
West Virginia improves to 4-0 all-time against Bowling Green and has won four of its last five road openers.
The Mountaineers finish their road trip with a match at Ohio State on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m.