MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sophomore midfielder Jess Crowder
scored two second half goals in leading West Virginia to a 4-1 victory over visiting Akron Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Leading 2-1, Crowder netted two scores in less than two minutes to help WVU put the exhibition contest away. Crowder was able to get a touch on a loose ball in front of the net following a ball played into the middle from freshman forward Annalika Steyn
Moments later, Steyn took the ball to the end line in the 77th minute and found Crowder in the middle of the box for her second goal. Crowder fought off a defender and slotted the ball past Akron goalkeeper Klaire Adee.
The Mountaineers, who started five freshmen in their lineup, finished with a 13-8 edge on shots, including seven attempts on-goal.
Freshman forward Kelsie Maloney
took a game-best three shots, and scored West Virginia’s first goal of the night in the 23rd minute. Sophomore forward Kate Schwindel
turned on a Zip defender in the middle of the field and played a ball over the head of the right back. Maloney hustled to the ball and placed a shot to the right side of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
WVU doubled its lead in the 30th minute off the foot of junior forward Frances Silva
. Siva dribbled the ball to her left at the top of the box before ripping a shot inside the near post to make it 2-0.
Akron came out strong to begin the second half, including a hard liner at the near post from Megan Waskowski in the 61st minute.
The Zips cut WVU’s lead in half in the 71st minute on a shot from Kelly DeNiro. DeNiro was left unmarked at the top of the box and sent a hard liner past goalkeeper Caitlin Hulyo
to make it 2-1. Hulyo nearly made a full extension save but the shot went off her outstretched gloves.
Sophomore Sara Keane
worked a scoreless opening half in goal for the Mountaineers, facing three shots and making one save.
The Mountaineers return to action with their final exhibition match on Sunday, Aug. 12, against Pitt. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk is slated for 7 p.m.