MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 16th-ranked West Virginia women’s soccer team continues Big 12 road play this weekend with matches at Kansas and Iowa State. WVU will face KU on Friday, Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. ET at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex, before taking on ISU on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. ET at the Cyclone Sports Complex.
“We have a challenging weekend ahead of us,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “It’s important that we stay focused for a full 90 minutes to get the result we want.”
The Mountaineers, 7-3-3 overall and 3-0-0 in conference play, join Texas as the only two undefeated teams in Big 12 play. WVU is coming off its first Big 12 road match, a 2-1 victory at TCU on Sept. 28. Senior Bri Rodriguez
scored her first goal of the season in the 52nd minute to break a 1-1 tie, and the Mountaineer defense would limit the Horned Frogs to four second-half shots to secure the win.
Coach Mark Francis is in his 14th season at Kansas, having led KU to all five of its NCAA appearances. Ten starters return from a team that won 11 matches a year ago and made a trip to the NCAAs.
The Jayhawks have won two of their last three matches, including a 3-2 overtime win at TCU last time out.
“Kansas is a dangerous team that can score at any moment,” said Izzo-Brown. “They like playing at home and I think seven of their eight wins have come at home. So, Friday will be a battle between two good teams.”
Junior Caroline Kastor leads Kansas in points with her team-best eight goals and two assists. Forwards Whitney Berry (6) and Jamie Fletcher (4) combine for 10 of the team’s 22 assists.
An experienced back line is led by senior defender Shelby Williamson. Kat Liebetrau and Kaitlyn Stroud have split time in goal with Stroud working full-time now. Stroud is 3-2-0 on the year with a 1.20 goals-against average and 19 saves.
Wendy Dillinger is in her fifth season at the helm of Iowa State, returning 22 letterwinners this fall. Her 2011 squad notched the most victories by an Iowa State team since 2005, the year the Cyclones qualified for the NCAA Championship.
“Iowa State will be excited to play on a new field this weekend,” said Izzo-Brown. “They open a new facility against TCU on Friday, before our game on Sunday.
“Iowa State is starting to play some quality soccer, and four of their losses have been decided by one goal.”
The Cyclones are currently second in the Big 12 in both goals scored (29) and points (79) this season. Eleven different players have scored a goal and 17 players have registered at least one point this year.
Forward Jennifer Dominguez has scored a team-best seven goals while teammates Emily Goldstein and Kaeli Flaska have scored four each.
Goalkeeper Maddie Jobe, owner of 14 career shutouts, could return in net this weekend after coming off an injury. Sophomore Andrea Swanson has started four matches in goal, going 2-2-0 with nine goals allowed.
West Virginia has never faced Kansas or Iowa State on the soccer field.