MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team closed out its first homestand of the season with a 2-0 victory over Morehead State, today, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers (3-0-1) dominated control of the ball throughout all 90 minutes and got the upper hand in a physical battle with the Eagles (0-3-1) this afternoon.
“Morehead State was restraining a little bit today and kept it compact,” explains 18th-year Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I definitely think the energy could have been better in the first half, and I think Morehead State tried to disrupt us a little bit, but I credit our team because they finally figured it out and finished on a chance.”
Scoreless early in the second half, sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney
earned the game-winner, as the Harrisburg, Pa., native made good on the Mountaineers’ 16th shot in the 58th minute. Maloney took a centering ball from junior forward Kate Schwindel
near the left post about two-yards out and netted her second goal of the season. Senior forward Frances Silva
set up the goal-scoring play, as she pushed the ball along the right sideline before sending it to Schwindel near the right goal post.
“You have Fran and you have Schwiny (Schwindel), and those are two tough players to deal with, but Kelsie brings something to the field that people don’t think about,” Izzo-Brown says. “I’m really proud of the way she’s handling this year and coming within her own. She’s finishing some critical moments for us.”
Senior goalie Sara Keane
and the WVU defense earned its second shutout of the weekend, and the 19th of Keane’s career, as she tallied three saves today, including two in the first half. The Mt. Laurel, N.J., native has allowed three goals through the season’s first four games and owns an 85.7 save percentage.
“I think everything Morehead State got on us today they earned, and I think our backline did a really good job,” Izzo-Brown says.
Hannah Seeman took the loss for the Eagles and made five saves in the losing effort.
The Mountaineers were statistically dominate today, outshooting MSU 23-6 and earning an 11-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Silva added an insurance goal in the 81st minute. Sophomore defender Cari Price
, earning her fifth point of the weekend and first career assist, played a header forward to the Overland Park, Kan., native just outside the 18-yard box, and Silva sent the ball past Seeman. She has now scored at least one point in each of WVU’s games this season.
MSU’s best scoring chance came early in the game, as forward Macy Cobb took a shot at the net from inside the box. Keane came out to challenge and tipped the ball away. The Eagles earned a corner off the play.
Three cards were issued today, including a red card to MSU’s Lindsey Oettle with 14 seconds of play remaining. Yellows also were given to the team in the 56th minute and to Holly Tilley in the 83rd minute.
The Mountaineers return to the road next weekend for matches against two ranked opponents in the Duke Nike Classic. WVU will face the No. 12-ranked Blue Devils on Friday, Sept. 6, at 6 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Mountaineers will then meet top-ranked North Carolina, the defending NCAA champions, on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m.