Silva Snags Big 12 Honor

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • September 10, 2013 03:53 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University senior forward Frances Silva has been named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

The honor, the second career recognition for the Overland Park, Kan., native, follows her five-point performance against two top-12 teams at the Duke Nike Classic last weekend. Silva scored one goal in each of the No. 10-ranked Mountaineers’ (3-1-2) games and also assisted on another.

Silva gave the Mountaineers an early lead in their 1-1 double-overtime draw at No. 12 Duke on Sept. 6, as she took advantage of an earned opportunity following a Duke foul near the right flank, receiving a dribbler from junior Jess Crowder and sending the ball across the box, toward the left post.

Two days later, Silva helped spark a WVU comeback effort against top-ranked North Carolina that fell just short, as the Mountaineers lost 4-2. Down 4-0 in the second half, she put WVU on the board in the 59th minute, converting the team’s first penalty kick of the season. Taken down in the box, she put a low shot past UNC keeper Anna Sieloff. Silva then set-up junior Kate Schwindel for the team’s second score less than four minutes later, as she settled a cross from sophomore Kelsie Maloney in the box.

With the two goals, the Mountaineers became the first team to score twice against the Tar Heels this season. Additionally, WVU was the first non-conference opponent to score two goals against UNC in a regular-season contest since the Tar Heels lost, 4-3, in overtime to Texas A&M on Sept. 11, 2011.

For her efforts over the two-game stretch, Silva was named to the Duke Nike Classic All-Tournament Team. She now owns a team-best 12 points (four goals, four assists) and 27 career goals, the ninth-best mark in program history. Silva has earned at least one point in every WVU contest this season.

The conference has honored two Mountaineers in the season’s first three weeks, as senior goalkeeper Sara Keane was named the Big 12 Defender of the Week on Aug. 27. WVU is one of four schools to collect two honors this season.

Additionally, the Mountaineers also rank No. 18 in this week’s SoccerTimes.com Coaches’ Poll. It was previously announced that the team ranks No. 10 in the Soccer America Poll and No. 19 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll.