MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A goal from Mallory Smith in the 11th minute and two additional first half scores guided the No. 22 West Virginia women’s soccer team past visiting St. John’s, 3-0, on Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Smith scored the game-winner at the 10:12 mark off the Mountaineers’ third corner kick of the match. Midfielder Bri Rodriguez played a ball into the middle that found Smith at the back post where she one-timed the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
“Nikki (Izzo-Brown) talks about being special in the box and I know I can use my size to my advantage,” said Smith of her fifth career goal. “Chelsey (Corroto) had a great dummy ball and I was just able to finish it.”
West Virginia added to its lead in the 25th minute on long blast from forward Kate Schwindel. Forward Blake Miller played a ball into the middle of the field where Schwindel turned, took one touch and fired shot inside the left post from 30 yards out for a 2-0 lead.
The Mountaineers completed their scoring in the 38th minute on forward Emily Dillon’s fourth goal of the season. Forward Katie Lenz beat a defender on the right side and attacked the goal when it was broken up and mis-cleared by a Red Storm defender. Dillon stepped to the ball and put it in the back of the net from six yards out to make it 3-0.
The Mountaineer defense was stout in picking up its seventh shutout of the season. WVU goalkeeper Sara Keane played well off her line and made two saves on the night.
Corroto stepped up big in her 70th career match, filling in at outside back for defender Meghan Lewis. Corroto and her teammates limited St. John’s leading scorer Jen Leaverton to one shot on the night.
Lauren Ferris worked all 90 minutes in goal for St. John’s, making four saves, including some nice stops in the second half.
The Red Storm had one scoring chance in the opening half, coming on a loose ball that slipped behind the Mountaineer back line. Jen Gibbons took a quick shot inside the box that went high of the goal in the 33rd minute.
St. John’s picked up its play in the second half, including a big save from Ferris shortly after intermission. WVU midfielder Caroline Szwed took a shot from 10 yards out on a through ball from Rodriguez that was deflected out of bounds.
Midfielder Amy Marron created one of two scoring opportunities in the second half, sending a long range attempt in the 54th minute, much like WVU’s second goal of the night. Marron’s shot was denied at the right post on a save by Keane.
WVU’s best look in the final 45 minutes came from forward Frances Silva at the 66:27 mark. Silva’s shot off a flick into the box forced Ferris to make a full extension save to her left.
St. John’s final look of the night came on a shot that dinged hard off the crossbar in the 77th minute. Runa Stefansdottir lined a shot from the back side of the box following the Red Storm’s third corner kick.
West Virginia held an 18-9 shot advantage and created nine more corner kicks (12-3) than St. John’s. Silva attempted a game-high four shots to lead WVU.
The Mountaineers improve to 10-4-0 (6-1-0 BIG EAST), reaching double-figure wins for the 14th time in the program’s 16 seasons.
West Virginia closes out its home schedule against Syracuse on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m., on Senior Day. Six Mountaineers make up the 2011 senior class – Drea Barklage, Morgan Betscher, Corroto, Erica Henderson, Lewis and Miller. Fans also are encouraged to bring their cameras to take their photo with WVU’s 2010 BIG EAST Championship trophy while in attendance.