MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 9 West Virginia University women’s soccer team’s top point earners hooked up for two goals and pushed the Mountaineers to a 2-0 victory over Iowa State tonight at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in WVU’s annual Pink Game.
Forwards Frances Silva
and Kate Schwindel
each scored their team-best ninth goals of the season, and the Mountaineers (10-2-2, 4-0 Big 12) earned their sixth straight victory and preserved their unblemished all-time Big 12 Conference regular-season record (11-0-1).
WVU is now 10-2-1 when scoring two or more goals this season. The Mountaineers have scored first in all 10 of their wins this year.
“There were moments when I thought we played really well, and then there were moments where we just didn’t control the ball as well as we wanted to,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown says of the night’s misty, messy conditions. “I do think the rain and the field’s slickness threw us off our game just a little. I give the girls a lot of credit that we were able to finish those two and get the win.”
Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane
earned her fifth shutout of the season and first in Big 12 play, as the Mt. Laurel, N.J., native made four saves, two in each period. Keane withstood a physical attack from the Cyclones (6-7-2, 0-3-1) throughout the contest and turned away eight ISU corner kicks.
All five of Keane’s shutouts have come at Dick Dlesk Stadium this season. She continues to rank No. 4 in the Mountaineer record book with 22 career shutouts.
ISU’s Maddie Jobe, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, made six saves in a losing effort.
The Mountaineers outshot the Cyclones, 15-12, with Silva and Schwindel each tallying a game-best five. WVU also earned a 10-8 advantage in corner kicks. ISU finished with 12 fouls to WVU’s four.
Owning a one-goal lead in the 56th minute, Silva chipped a ball to a streaking Schwindel from the top of the box, who beat Jobe on a challenge far post from about seven-yards out. Sophomore defender Cari Price
gave the scoring play a chance, as she headed the ball at midfield and continued the WVU offensive attack.
Silva and Schwindel gave WVU its early lead in the 13th minute, as the Mountaineers converted their second free kick of the game. An ISU foul at the top of the box resulted in the free kick, and Schwindel sent a ball across the field to Silva, who blasted a shot from 17-yards out and beat Jobe near post.
Through four Big 12 games, Silva and Schwindel have earned a combined 18 points and each has scored three goals.
“I think they (Silva and Schwindel) are unselfish at the right time,” explains Izzo-Brown. “I think they understand when to find each other and when to just go. I do believe that since they’ve had three years together, they really understand each other’s runs and their tendencies. I attribute that to them wanting to be connected and understanding each other.”
With her assist, her team-best 11th of the season, Silva, a senior from Overland Park, Kan., moves into second place on the all-time Mountaineer single-season assist chart; she needs one more assist to tie associate coach Lisa Stoia (2003) and Kim Bonilla (2006) for the program record. Silva and Schwindel both show 20 career assists and are tied with assistant coach Marisa Kanela (2002-05) for No. 8 in the Mountaineer record book.
Silva breaks a tie with Laura Kane (2001-04) and sits alone at No. 6 with 32 career goals. She continues to rank No. 7 all-time with 84 career points.
Schwindel, a junior out of Livingston, N.J., now ranks No. 10 with Bonilla (2004-07) with 24 career goals.
Blustery conditions plagued the first 45 minutes, and the teams battled through a steady mist, resulting in few genuine scoring opportunities for either squad.
WVU had a chance for its first goal in the 12th minute, as the team’s first free kick of the game gave Schwindel the ball near the net. She was able to lure Jobe out of the goal before sending a cross toward three teammates, but the Mountaineers weren’t able to gain possession and the play died.
With the win, WVU improves to 2-0 all-time against ISU.
Of note, the Mountaineers presented a check for $15,781 for breast cancer research to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
The Mountaineers stay at home and play host to TCU on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 12:30 p.m. The Horned Frogs (5-6-3, 1-2-1 Big 12) earned a 1-0 win at Kansas earlier today.
“I don’t think the motivation factor will be something I have to really harp about before we get out there Sunday,” says Izzo-Brown of the team that upset the Mountaineers 2-0 in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals last season. “I know that we were very disappointed last year, and we have something to prove to TCU.”
Team wristbands will be given to the first 200 fans through the gate Sunday.