FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 21 West Virginia women’s soccer team scored two unanswered goals at TCU to win its first Big 12 road match, 2-1, Friday night in front of 2,057 fans at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.
With the scored tied 1-1 after 45 minutes, senior Bri Rodriguez
scored her first goal of the season in the 52nd minute. Defender Bry McCarthy
pushed forward into the attack, taking the ball into the left corner before dropping a ball into the heart of the box. Rodriguez placed a header back across the goal to give the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead.
“It was a huge early goal from Bri to give us energy that we lacked in the first half,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Bry made a nice run forward and placed a perfect ball to Rod in the box.”
The Mountaineer defense would limit the Horned Frogs to four second-half shots to secure the win and improve to 3-0-0 in conference play, 7-3-3 overall.
WVU finished with a 23-9 edge in shots, paced by forward Kate Schwindel
’s four attempts.
TCU, who moved to 5-5-1 overall and 0-1-0 in the Big 12, allowed 10 Mountaineer corner kicks – a season high for its opponents.
“It wasn’t our best effort by any means tonight but we came away with a winning result,” said Izzo-Brown. “And you should feel good anytime you pick up a road win. So, we’ll take it and move forward.”
The Horned Frogs capitalized on their first scoring opportunity of the match, as defender Kelly Johnson took a long shot that skipped hard into the box forcing goalkeeper Sara Keane
to knock the ball down. Midfielder Makenzie Koch found an empty net on a rebound shot from five yards out.
West Virginia evened the match at the 40:33 mark after Schwindel was taken down on the left side by a hard tackle near the sideline. She served a free kick into box where defender Mallory Smith
sent a header that was cleared off the line. Midfielder Amanda Hill
volleyed the ball into the far corner from the left side of the box to make it a 1-1.
“It wasn’t a very good first half for us at all,” said Izzo-Brown. “Amanda came up big though to give us some momentum going into the half with her first collegiate goal. It was a good one.”
Hill’s goal marked only the second first-half score allowed by TCU this season, and she became the sixth different Mountaineer to record their first career goal this season.
Keane finished with five saves to pick up her seventh win of the season, while TCU goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold made four stops in the loss. The Mountaineers scored two against Arnold, who entered the weekend ranked second in the Big 12 in goals allowed with six.
TCU pushed hard to get the equalizer, its best chance coming in the 67th minute. Johnson turned and fired a shot at the goal, but it was blocked out of danger by WVU midfielder Ali Connelly
. Midfielder Monica Alvarado was there to clean up the rebound, but Keane smothered the shot.
Schwindel forced the action just 30 seconds into the second half, turning on a defender at the top of the box and sending a ball at the far post that was deflected out of bounds.
Forward Kailey Utley
got into the mix with shots in the 77th and 79th minutes, her first attempt sent high of the goal and the second shot forcing Arnold’s seventh save of the night.
West Virginia extends its winning streak to five matches and has lost only once since knocking off top-ranked Stanford on Aug. 26.
The Mountaineers resume Big 12 action with road trips to Kansas and Iowa State on Oct. 5 and 7.