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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 10-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team opens its two-week homestand this weekend against Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers (3-1-2) play host to the Colonels (0-5-1) Friday, at 5:30 p.m., and to the Wildcats (4-1-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Tickets for Friday’s match are $5 for adults, $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. Sunday is a “Dollar Day,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for $1 each.
“I’m looking forward to being home for the next four games – it’s going to be a different experience, sleeping in our own beds,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “This weekend is going to be interesting for us, and right now we’re focused on Eastern Kentucky and what challenges they’re going to present.”
Friday’s meeting is the first between WVU and EKU. The Colonels are the third of four programs WVU will face for the first time this season. The Mountaineers are 2-0 all-time against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference, with both wins coming against Morehead State.
The Mountaineers and the Wildcats have met twice before, with WVU owning a 2-0 record. Most recently, WVU downed UK, 1-0, in Morgantown on Sept. 11, 2008.
The Mountaineers return home following a 0-1-1 showing at the Duke Nike Classic last weekend at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
WVU played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw against the No. 12-ranked Blue Devils on Sept. 6. Senior forward Frances Silva
, the reigning Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, put the Mountaineers on the board first for the fifth straight time this season in the 29th minute, as she converted an earned opportunity following a Duke foul near the right flank, receiving a dribbler from junior defender Jess Crowder
and sending the ball across the box and toward the left post. Duke evened the score in the 76th minute.
The Mountaineers showed fight against top-ranked North Carolina two days later, battling back from a four-goal deficit in the second half but eventually falling 4-2 to the defending NCAA champions. The loss snapped the team’s 18-game regular-season unbeaten streak. Silva scored her fourth goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 59th minute and assisted on junior forward Kate Schwindel
’s goal less than 10 minutes later. With the two scores, WVU became the first team to net multiple goals against the Tar Heels this season and the first nonconference opponent to tally two goals in a regular-season contest since Sept. 11, 2011. Silva and Schwindel were named to the Duke Nike Classic All-Tournament Team.
“I definitely saw moments where we could have won both those games,” explains Izzo-Brown. “I thought, going in to the weekend, we were good enough to beat Duke. Unfortunately, there was a call that just happens in the game. Then, turning around and lining up against North Carolina after playing two extra periods – we saw the best of the best. I know we can correct some of the problems they caused. That match was a great learning curve for all of us.”
Silva’s five-point effort last weekend pushed her team-best season point total to 12 (four goals, four assists). Her 27 career goals rank No. 9 on the program’s all-time chart, and she is one score short of tying assistant coach Marisa Kanela for the No. 8 spot.
Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane
faced 14 shots over the two days and made nine saves. With 191 career saves, she ranks No. 4 in the Mountaineer record book. Additionally, she ranks No. 5 in the program annals with 19 career shutouts.
EKU enters Friday’s match seeking its first win of 2013. Most recently, the Colonels dropped a 5-0 decision at Indiana on Sept. 8.
UK extended its win streak to four with a 3-1 victory over Dayton on Sept. 8. Prior to that match, the Wildcats defeated Louisville 2-0 on Sept. 6.