AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 14 West Virginia women’s soccer team used a goal in the 98th minute to win its final regular season match, topping host Texas, 1-0, Friday evening at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Junior Kara Blosser
scored her third goal of the season at the 97:06 mark by finishing a ball at the back post following WVU’s fourth corner kick of the night. Senior Mallory Smith
played a ball into traffic in front of the net, where junior Kate Schwindel
slotted it back into the middle to a wide open Blosser at the far post.
Schwindel created the corner kick opportunity after intercepting a faulty clearance by UT goalkeeper Abby Smith, and sending a ball off a Texas defender in the right corner. Schwindel’s assist was her team-best eighth of the season to give her a team high 26 points.
“Both teams played hard and it was a matter of who came up with the extra effort to put one away,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I’m proud of the way our ladies got after it in overtime and found a way to close out the regular season on a positive note.”
The win extends West Virginia’s unbeaten streak to 13 matches.
WVU finishes Big 12 Conference play with a 7-0-1 record, marking only the sixth time a team has won the regular season title without a loss. WVU improves to 11-3-4 overall.
Texas drops to 7-10-1 on the season, 4-4-0 in conference play.
Neither team could put together a consistent offensive rhythm, forcing a lot of action in the midfield throughout the contest.
Forward Frances Silva
tallied WVU’s first scoring opportunity less than four minutes into the match. Schwindel delivered a pass toward the near post where Silva’s volley was denied by goalkeeper Smith.
The Longhorns had perhaps its best scoring chance of the night erased by a sliding save from Mountaineer goalkeeper Sara Keane
in the 39th minute. Forward Hannah Higgins worked her way into the box, forcing Keane off her line to deny Higgins’ shot from 10 yards out.
Each team attempted three first-half shots, and Texas opened the second stanza with four shots in the first 17 minutes. UT would finish with an 11-7 edges in shots.
The Mountaineers pressured late in the match, creating two solid looks from Silva and Schiwndel. Silva drove a ball high of the frame from the top of the box in the 82nd minute. Schwindel followed with a shot that sailed high of the goal following a through ball from senior Bri Rodriguez
Keane came up big in the 87th minute to keep Texas off the board. Higgins placed a ball in front of the net where midfielder Chantale Campbell took a pair of shots at the mouth of the goal. Keane made a diving stop, Campbell corralled the rebound and fired again, but the second was cleared away by defender Jess Crowder
Keane finished with seven saves to help WVU post its eighth shutout of the season.
The Mountaineers head to San Antonio, Texas, for the 2012 Big 12 Soccer Championship on Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 and 4, at Blossom Soccer Stadium. This marks the 16th consecutive year that the University of Texas and San Antonio Sports Foundation will co-host the event at the venue.
WVU won the regular-season championship to earn the No. 1 seed and will face No. 8 seed TCU at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 31. The top eight teams based on conference results determined by a point system qualify for the Big 12 Championship.