MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 25 West Virginia women’s soccer team needed goals from Emily Dillon and Meghan Lewis, and used a strong effort from its reserves, in posting a 3-0 shutout against visiting Marshall on a rainy Monday morning at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
“Both teams battled through some bad weather, and we finally found the back of the net today,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I’m glad we were able to get the game in and come out with a ‘W’.”
Marshall (1-4-0) opened strong from the opening whistle, taking the first three shots of the match.
West Virginia (3-3-0) quickly settled down and responded with some offensive pressure that led to its first goal in the 13th minute. Lewis sent a shot towards the far post that was mis-cleared by defender Annabelle Bramwell, resulting in the ball falling back across the goal line for an own-goal.
Less than two minutes later, the Mountaineers nearly doubled their lead on a shot from midfielder Kate Schwindel. Forward Frances Silva sent a ball in to the middle where Schwindel settled it and fired a shot towards the right corner with Herd goalkeeper Betsy Haugh making a diving stop to her left.
The Mountaineers added to their lead in the 34th minute on Dillon’s first goal of the season. The play began with a beautiful chip shot from midfielder Jessica Crowder that hit the crossbar and bounced back into play. Dillon raced to the bar and fired a shot that was blocked by Haugh, and then slotted the rebound on the ground for a 2-0 lead.
WVU completed its scoring on Lewis’ goal in the 59th minute after making a run up the right flank. Midfielder Bri Rodriguez played a ball back out to the right where Lewis charged toward the goal, sending a shot off a Marshall defender that skipped inside the right post for a 3-0 lead.
Twenty different Mountaineers saw action on the afternoon, including first career minutes for Erin Brown, Ali Connelly and Ashley Ramsey. WVU also received strong play from Katie Lenz, Morgan Betscher and Chelsey Corroto who combined for 124 minutes off the bench.
“I thought Chelsey did a great job coming in and Morgan gave us a spark,” said Izzo-Brown. “Dillon was huge, putting away that second goal for us. We had some ladies step up today when our starters weren’t very sharp.”
Marshall’s best scoring chance came in the 81st minute on a ball that hit the left post. Forward Megan Tabler sent a low-liner under the arms of WVU goalkeeper Sara Keane that hit the post and was cleared out by Lewis.
“The conditions weren’t ideal but we came away with a shutout,” said Keane on battling the wet weather. “We just tried to keep the ball in front of us and not put ourselves in a position to slip or make a terrible mistake.”
The Mountaineers also had second half scoring opportunities from Blake Miller in the 54th minute. Lewis played a perfect ball into the middle where Miller couldn’t get enough pace on her shot that rolled harmlessly into the hands of Haugh.
With 16 minutes to play, WVU forward Nicolette DeLaurentis got into the mix by creating a shot from the right side that skipped into the hands of Haugh for one of her eight saves on the day.
WVU outshot Marshall 16-11 and a held a 6-4 corner kick edge. Swindel paced the Mountaineers with four shots, while MU’s Angela DeSumma attempted a game-high five shots.
The Mountaineers return to action against High Point on Sept. 11. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.