WACO, Texas – A header from sophomore defender Cari Price
in the 77th minute solidified a second straight road victory for the No. 18-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team, as the Mountaineers defeated No. 9 Baylor, 4-3, this afternoon at Betty Lou Mays Field.
The win is the first in the series for the Mountaineers over the Bears. The two teams, the defending Big 12 regular-season champions and Big 12 tournament champions, respectively, played to a 1-1 draw in Morgantown, W.Va., last year.
With today’s victory, WVU remains unbeaten in all-time Big 12 Conference regular-season games, pushing its record to 9-0-1. Additionally, the Mountaineers (8-2-2, 2-0 Big 12) picked up their 11th win over a top-10 opponent in nine straight season. WVU improves to 1-1-1 against top-10 teams this year.
The Mountaineers are the first team to score on the Bears at Betty Lou Mays Field this season, and WVU is the first visiting opponent to put four goals past BU (8-1-2, 1-1 Big 12) at home since 2009. WVU snapped the Bears’ 31-game unbeaten streak and handed BU its first loss at home since Oct. 21, 2011, a span of 17 matches.
“These are two huge conference wins on the road,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Baylor had a 31-game unbeaten streak going on, so to come in here and get the win was big. More importantly, both wins give us the points that we needed. I’m proud of the way we came in and battled the elements today to get those points.
“We are a resilient team, and at any point, opposing teams are going to have to deal with our scoring balance. I credit the girls for the diversity of our scoring. We can be dangerous from anywhere.”
Price’s goal, her fourth of the season, shut the door on a BU offensive attack that gained momentum in the closing minutes of the second period. The Sykesville, Md., native was perfectly placed near the net for a lofting corner from senior forward Frances Silva
. The assist was a team-best 10th for the Overland Park, Kan., native, and she has earned a point in all but one of WVU’s contests this season.
Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane
earned the win today, making six saves on nine shots. BU’s Michelle Koss made four saves in the losing effort.
WVU outshot BU, 20-5, with Silva taking a game-high five. The Bears tallied a 6-5 advantage in corners.
The Mountaineers capitalized on a BU defensive miscue in the 23rd minute, with sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney
beating Kloss in a one-on-one situation. Junior forward Kate Schwindel
brought the ball up the right side of the field and placed her cross just behind two BU defenders, providing Maloney with a clear shot at the net. The Harrisburg, Pa., native placed the ball toward the right post for her fifth goal of the season.
Prior to today’s match, BU had allowed only one goal all season and had shutout its opponent in the first period in the last 14 straight matches. Additionally, the score was the first allowed by BU at home in the first period in almost two seasons; Oklahoma tallied a score in the first 45 on Oct. 23, 2011.
Schwindel netted her team-best eighth goal of the season 14 minutes later, as she snuck behind the BU’s defense and ripped a shot just outside the box. Junior defender Jess Crowder
played a through ball to a streaking Schwindel for her fourth assist of the season.
BU’s offensive attack was relentless between goals, and the Bears possessed the ball for the majority of the time. Keane and the Mountaineer defense came up huge with a save and a block during the span. Keane’s biggest save came in the 33rd minute, as she dove toward the right post to negate a penalty kick from BU forward Bri Campos.
Campus again almost tied the score 40 seconds later, as her foot found the ball following a skirmish in the box. With Keane out of the play, Crowder came streaking across the box and blasted the ball off the playing field just before it crossed the goal line.
Owning a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute, freshman defender Kadeisha Buchanan
upped the advantage and netted her first career goal with a lofting, perfectly placed shot that snuck behind Kloss, just under the upper-left post. Carly Black
started the scoring push, as she fed the ball to Buchanan from midfield after a stoppage in play. The Brampton, Ontario, native carried the ball up the right side of the field and took an uncontested shot from about 20-yards out.
All three of the Bears’ goals came in the second period, with Lindsay Burns, Campos and Taylor Heatherly tallying scores. Heatherly’s goal came with just seven seconds left on the clock.
“We learned early on this season after we let a couple leads slide,” concludes Izzo-Brown. “I thought this team really displayed its resiliency today. They pulled themselves together and made sure we went home with a win.”
The Bears entered the match nationally ranked in five polls and currently hold the No. 9 spot in this week’s Bennett Rank Poll.
The Mountaineers open a four-match home stand this Friday, Oct. 4, against Texas, at 7 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Friday is a “Dollar Night,” and all tickets and select concessions will be available for $1 each. The game also will be a Gold Rush, and all fans are encouraged to wear gold.