No. 10 Mountaineers Open Home Season

  • By Shannon McNamara
  • |
  • August 29, 2013 02:25 PM
  • |

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team opens its 2013 home season at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium this weekend.

The Mountaineers (1-0-1) welcome Central Michigan (0-0-1) tomorrow, at 5:30 p.m.; the start time is 30 minutes later than previously announced. WVU will continue its homestand against Morehead State (0-1-1) on Sunday with a 1 p.m. match.

Tickets for each match are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and senior citizens, and groups of 10 or more may pay $2 each. WVU students are admitted free with a valid WVU student ID.

Friday is a “Poster Night,” and fans may pick up a 2013 schedule poster featuring seniors Kara Blosser, Frances Silva and Caroline Szwed. Additionally, the first 200 Mountaineer Maniacs in the gate will receive a women’s soccer fan T-shirt. On Sunday, all WVU women’s soccer campers from this past summer are invited to come to DDSS for the game and to wear their camp T-shirt.

“We’re always excited to play in front of our fans at Dick Dlesk,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “This is a special place for us, and to play at home is going to be really nice. We’re very excited for this weekend.”

Izzo-Brown will go for her 250th career win this weekend. The 18-year Mountaineer coach sits at 249-97-37 through 19 years on the sideline.

Despite owning a 2-1 series advantage, WVU looks to even the score against the Chippewas this weekend, as CMU earned a 2-0 win on Aug. 24, 2012, at the Penn State Invitational. The Mountaineers’ last win in the series was a 2-1 victory in Morgantown in 2010.

“We’ve always played tight with Central Michigan, and last year we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Izzo-Brown explains. “I think there’s always a little extra motivation for a game against an opponent that beat you before.”

WVU and Morehead State have met only once before, with the Mountaineers earning a 2-0 victory over the visiting Eagles in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The Mountaineers kick off at Dick Dlesk for the first time this season after opening 2013 with a 1-0-1 showing at the Penn State Invitational last weekend. Then-No. 19 WVU held on for a 2-2 draw against then-No. 2 PSU, the 2012 national runner-up, on Aug. 23. Senior forward Frances Silva got the Mountaineers on the board first, connecting on a cross from sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney. Maloney extended WVU’s lead to 2-0 in the second half on a header from freshman midfielder Ashley Lawrence before PSU evened the score in the 82nd minute.

WVU earned its first victory of the year with a 2-1 win over Syracuse on Aug. 25, also at the invitational. Junior forward Kate Schwindel scored her first goal of the season in the game’s third minute, connecting on a cross from Silva. After the Orange knotted the game at 1-1 in the 57th minute, a ball from Silva late in the game was misplayed by SU in front of its net for an own-goal.

Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane made 12 saves on the weekend, including a career-high eight against PSU, and was named the Big 12 Conference Defender of the Week. Maloney and Silva earned three points each on the weekend, and Maloney was named to the CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll.

CMU opened the season with a 2-2 draw against Detroit at home in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Aug. 25, in coach Peter McGahey’s debut with the Chippewas. CMU came back twice from one-goal deficits, and junior goalkeeper Grace Labrecque played all 110 minutes in the double-overtime contest and made two saves.

MSU opened its season with a 3-2 loss at then-No. 23 Ohio State on Aug. 23 and earned a 1-1 draw at Saint Francis (Pa.) on Aug. 25. Junior forward Macy Cobb leads the Eagles with four points, while sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Seeman (three saves, three goals/against) was in goal for Friday’s loss, and sophomore keeper Kaitlynn Murphy (nine saves, one goal-against) was in between the posts for Sunday’s draw.

The Eagles will open their home season against Akron tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET before traveling to Morgantown for Sunday’s match.