MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Junior forward Frances Silva
scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 79th minute to lead West Virginia past visiting Texas Tech, 3-2, Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The win gave West Virginia its first victory as members of the Big 12 Conference.
“First off, it was a good win against a pretty good team,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I’m happy for our ladies to play through all of the emotion surrounding this first Big 12 game. It’s neat for them to be able to say they were part of history, winning the program’s and the University’s first Big 12 game.”
Silva buried a penalty kick after being taken down inside the box on a perfect through ball from senior Bri Rodriguez
. Silva ran through the back line and was taken to the ground by defender Jaelene Hinkle. The goal, Silva’s second of the night, gives her three straight multi-goal matches.
West Virginia built a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes on goals from Silva and senior defender Mallory Smith
Silva gave the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute on a shot in transition, slotting a ball inside the right post.
At the 41:45 mark, West Virginia doubled its lead on a Smith header off a corner kick from senior Bry McCarthy
. Rodriguez earned the corner after sending a ball off a Tech defender in the right corner.
The Red Raiders switched up their lineup to start the second half, creating some instant energy in their offensive third of the field.
“It was good to have some confidence going into the half, but we came out sluggish and paid the price,” said Izzo-Brown. “They took advantage of some breakdowns but we battled back.”
In the 51st minute, defender Morgan Johnson sent a rocket under the crossbar after pushing forward for a Tech corner kick. Hayley Haagsma played a ball back into the middle from the right touch line where Johnson one-timed it into the back of the net.
Texas Tech (7-3-0, 0-1-0) evened the score in the 73rd minute on Paige Strahan’s third goal of the season on a shot from just outside the top of the box.
Tech finished with a 17-11 edge in shots, paced by midfielder Janine Beckie’s game high five attempts.
“It wasn’t a focused effort for 90 minutes, but we did have plenty of strong performances,” added Izzo-Brown. “Bry was awesome, and I thought Mallory and Amanda (Hill) were very good, too.”
The Mountaineer defense was outstanding in the first half, never allowing the Red Raiders’ offense to threaten. Seven of Tech’s eight first-half shots were from beyond the 18-yard box.
WVU (5-3-3, 1-0-0) returns to action against No. 7 ranked Oklahoma State, its third Top-10 opponent of the season, on Sunday, Sept. 23, at noon. The contest is also Breast Cancer Awareness Day as fans are encouraged to wear pink as the WVU coaching staff makes a check presentation for more than $12,000 to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. The WVU women’s soccer team has raised more than $85,000 over the past nine years to help fight breast cancer.
On Sunday, WVU students can also utilize a free shuttle bus service available from the Mountainlair & the Brooke/Braxton Towers loop from 11 a.m. to noon. Return service to the Mountainlair & the Brooke/Braxton Towers will also be available at the conclusion of the game.