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Cards On Deck


By Tim Goodenow for WVUsports.com
November 04, 2011 10:10 PM
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET | NIKKI IZZO-BROWN VIDEO | STUDENT-ATHLETE VIDEO

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Meghan Lewis’ first game-winner of the season and a strong second half by the Mountaineers pushed No. 11 West Virginia past visiting Georgetown, 5-1, Friday evening in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The Mountaineers will play for their third BIG EAST Championship on Sunday, Nov. 6, at noon, against Louisville. The Cardinals posted a 2-1 win over Notre Dame in the first semifinal contest this afternoon.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to play in the championship game and defend our BIG EAST title,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Georgetown is a heck of a team and we are fortunate to have pulled out two wins against them this year.”

WVU played to a 1-1 score after 45 minutes that favored Georgetown.

“I’m proud of the effort our ladies gave, particularly in having the confidence to come out and put away a great team like Georgetown,” said Izzo-Brown, winners of nine straight home matches. “We weren’t possessing the ball very well defensively, and we sent too many balls out of bounds. But that adjustment was made at the half.”

West Virginia came out strong after intermission as Lewis scored her third goal of the season in the 49th minute. The senior defender sent a banger into the upper left corner from 18 yards out for a 2-1 lead.

The Mountaineers would add goals from Frances Silva (56:11), Kate Schwindel (60:03) and Chelsey Corroto (73:59) to complete the scoring. The five goals match WVU’s highest scoring output in a conference tournament, set last weekend against Seton Hall.

Silva finished a breakaway up the middle on a pass from Schwindel, drawing GU’s goalkeeper Elizabeth Hanna off her line. Sliva took one touch and sent a ball on the ground and into the back of the net for her seventh goal of the year.

Less than four minutes later, Schwindel intercepted a pass in the Mountaineers’ offensive third of the field to make it a 4-1 match. The BIG EAST Rookie of the Year slotted a ball inside the left post to extend WVU’s lead.

Corroto, a senior midfielder who logged 43 minutes off the bench, netted her second goal of the season on a brilliant finish from 12 yards out in the 74th minute. Silva played a ball into Corroto on the right side of the box where she lined a shot inside the far post for the fifth and final score of the night.

Senior Blake Miller opened the scoring with her team-leading ninth goal of the season to give WVU a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the contest. Silva set the goal up by taking the ball to the end line and creating a corner kick. Miller drove a header over a defender’s head who was standing at the near post.

The Hoyas responded with a goal from forward Samantha Baker in the 28th minute. Baker had a step on a Mountaineer defender and turned on a ball in the middle of the box, slotting a shot into the right side of the goal for a 1-1 score.

Georgetown controlled the midfield in the first half, leading to several good looks in the Mountaineers’ defensive third of the field. All-America midfielder Ingrid Wells lifted a shot off the crossbar in the 27th minute from a tough angle on the right side of the field, near the end line.

GU finished with a 11-10 shot advantage with each team attempting six shots on-goal. Wells attempted a game-high three shots while nine different Mountaineers took a shot, led by Mallory Smith’s two attempts.

Mountaineer goalkeeper Sara Keane worked all 90 minutes, making five stops in picking up her 16th win of the season. The redshirt freshman came up with a big save in the 80th minute on a Baker shot that was pushed over the crossbar.

In the 66th minute, Hoya defender Mary Kroening nearly scored off a flick following a throw-win deep on the right side of the field. Keane moved quickly to her left and denied the attempt at the post.

West Virginia has won seven of its last eight meetings with Georgetown, including a 3-1 win in the Nation’s Capital on Sept. 30. WVU improves to 16-4-0 while Georgetown dips to 15-6-0.

Miller, who is the first Mountaineer to score at least one point in four different BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championships (2008-11), recorded her 32nd career goal against the Hoyas. The Mountaineers are 27-2-1 all-time when Miller scores a goal.

A crowd of 1,380 – the sixth largest to watch at women’s soccer match at Dick Dlesk – took in West Virginia’s seventh-consecutive BIG EAST semifinal.

“What an awesome crowd tonight and I can’t thank them enough,” said Izzo-Brown, whose teams have won two BIG EAST Championships in four tries. “I know our ladies could hear the crowd and really fed off of it. I’m hoping Sunday is similar as it can create a huge advantage for us.”

WVU is the defending BIG EAST champion and is hosting the conference tournament for the second time. Louisville has won a school record eight straight matches and is playing in its first BIG EAST title game.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults (19 & older) and $3 for youth (18 & younger), and all BIG EAST students can attend for free with a valid student ID. Sunday’s championship will be televised regionally by BIG EAST TV and will be streamed live online for free at BIGEAST.TV.



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