SAN ANTONIO – The Big 12 champion West Virginia soccer team will begin postseason play against TCU in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Big 12 Soccer Championship at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Tomorrow’s match at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas, will be streamed live by the Big 12 Digital Network on Big12Sports.com.
WVU earned a No. 1 seed with its 7-0-1 conference record (11-3-4 overall) to win the regular-season title. TCU enters tournament play with a 1-5-2 Big 12 mark (6-9-3 overall) to receive the No. 8 seed.
“I think our ladies are anxious to get back on the field and compete for another championship,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, who yesterday was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year. “Our captains have done a good job of keeping our girls focused while down here in San Antonio.”
This season marks only the sixth time a Big 12 team has won the regular-season title without a loss. The Mountaineers are riding a 13-match unbeaten streak following its season-finale win at Texas on Oct. 26.
West Virginia is 1-0 all-time against the Horned Frogs, scoring a 2-1 win earlier this season in the program’s first-ever Big 12 road match. The Mountaineers used goals from midfielders Amanda Hill and Bri Rodriguez to secure the victory.
“You probably never want to face a team twice in the same season, but that happens when tournament time comes around,” says Izzo-Brown. “I think TCU has improved since we last met about a month ago. We will have to be ready for a battle tomorrow night against TCU.”
Eric Bell is in his first season in charge of TCU, looking to give the Horned Frogs their first NCAA appearance. TCU went 1-1-1 in its final three regular season matches to earn a Big 12 Championship berth.
Senior Monica Alvarado leads the team in goals scored with six on only 20 shots. Freshman midfielder Makenzie Koch had dished out a team-best five assists to go with three goals for 11 points.
Defensively, the Horned Frogs are led by goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold who owns a goals-against average of 1.20. Her 54 saves in Big 12 matches leads the conference. TCU’s defense, which allowed 32 goals last year, has allowed 24 goals this season.
Freshman Bobbi Clemmer has started all 18 games this season and is the only Horned Frog to have played all 1,682 minutes.
The WVU-TCU winner advances to meet the survivor of the No. 4 Texas-No. 5 Oklahoma game, at 6:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
West Virginia is making its 13th appearance in a postseason conference tournament. WVU left the Big East Conference having won three of the last five championships (2007, 2010, 2011).
The Mountaineers have won six straight-matches in postseason conference tournaments to win back-to-back titles. WVU is 16-8-4 all-time in conference tournament matches.