MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team needed just one goal, but scored four, to deliver career win No. 250 for coach Nikki Izzo-Brown tonight, as the Mountaineers trumped Central Michigan 4-0, in the team’s home season opener at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in front of 1,310 fans.
WVU made good on its seventh corner kick of the first half, as sophomore defender Cari Price
scored her first career goal, and the team never looked back, adding three insurance goals in the second 45 and on its way to its second straight victory of 2013.
Izzo-Brown’s 19-year coaching record now stands at 250-97-37. She is 237-92-37 in her 18 seasons with the Mountaineers. Her milestone win came in front of the fifth-largest crowd to watch a WVU women’s soccer game at Dick Dlesk.
“I’ll say it again – it’s never about one person,” Izzo-Brown says. “I sit back and really relish this moment – it’s about all the great people I’ve worked with and all the numbers that have put those jerseys on. It is never about one person, and I’m fortunate enough to work and be a part of it. Win 250 is a big number.
“So many people earned this win tonight, including our fans – this great crowd was definitely a part of tonight’s win.”
The victory avenges the Mountaineers’ (2-0-1) 2-0 loss to the Chippewas (0-1-1) last August in the Penn State Invitational. WVU pushes its series lead to 3-1.
Senior Sara Keane
, the reigning Big 12 Conference Defender of the Week, made three saves in the shut-out effort, the 18th of her career and the fifth-best mark in program history.
“I was just hoping that we didn’t let our lead slip tonight,” Izzo-Brown explains. “I credited the team for the shutout, and earning that shutout was critical for us. We needed to make sure we finished 90 minutes, and I think we finished all the way through.”
The Mountaineers outshot the Chippewas, 16-5, and put 10 shots on goal. WVU also earned a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks. CMU’s Heather Laeufer took the loss.
Price was the standout of the evening. The Sykesville, Md., native got the Mountaineers on the board in the 40th minute, as she headed a corner from senior forward Frances Silva
near the far post. She ended the evening with a game-best four points, as she also tallied a goal in the 85th minute, heading a corner kick from junior Ali Connelly
just outside the five-yard line past Laeufer. The assist was the first career point for Connelly.
“Cari’s really transformed herself into the kind of player that can go out and score two goals for us,” says Izzo-Brown. “I’m really proud of how hard she’s worked and her focus.”
The Mountaineers wasted little time going up 2-0 in the second half. Junior forward Kate Schwindel
netted her second goal in as many games in the 49th minute, as she made good on a cross from sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney
about 12-yards from the net.
Sophomore forward Annalika Steyn
got in on the scoring mix 23 minutes later, netting her first goal of the season, and second of her career, in the 72nd minute. The Hoover, Ala., native took a cross from Silva right outside the penalty line and sent a slow dribbler into the right corner of the net.
With two assists this evening, Silva now owns three for the season, eclipsing her output from 2012. The Overland Park, Kan., native has earned at least one point in every game this season.
The Mountaineers return to Dick Dlesk this Sunday and play host to Morehead State at 1 p.m. The Eagles opened their home season tonight and fell, 2-1, to Akron in overtime.