No. 6 Women's Soccer Prepped for Kansas

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 17, 2013 05:05 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 6-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team closes out its regular-season home schedule against Kansas on Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

Friday is “Dollar Night,” and all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas will be available for purchase for $1 each. WVU students get in for free with a valid WVU student I.D. Glowsticks will be handed out to the first 500 fans inside the gate.

Friday night also is Senior Night, and seniors Kara Blosser, Sara Keane, Frances Silva and Caroline Szwed will be recognized prior to kickoff. It’s also Alumni Weekend, and former Mountaineers will be in attendance and recognized at halftime.

The Mountaineers (11-2-2, 5-0 Big 12) enter the match riding a seven-game win streak, including five straight conference victories. WVU has yet to drop a Big 12 Conference regular-season match and owns an all-time 12-0-1 record.

“There’s nothing like waiting to see what other teams do in conference play, so at this point our plan is to control our own destiny and take care of what we can,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “If we execute our plan, we should be good. We’re really taking this season game by game right now. What we have to do is take care of 90 minutes on Friday – that’s what is really important.

“Of course, we want to win for our seniors, too. There’s a lot of Mountaineer pride that will hopefully come out and support what these four seniors have done for this program, this state and this University. These girls are pretty special.”

The Jayhawks (6-6-2, 0-2-1 Big 12) visit Morgantown for the first time Friday in only the second game between the two squads. WVU earned a 1-0 victory in the series opener last year in Lawrence, with junior Kate Schwindel tallying the lone goal in the 43rd minute.

After opening Big 12 play with two wins on the road the last weekend of September, WVU has earned three straight victories over conference competition in Morgantown, including a 2-0 win over Iowa State on Oct. 11 and a 3-2 overtime win over TCU on Oct. 13. The Mountaineers’ victory over the Horned Frogs was the team’s first win of 2013 in extra time.

Silva and Schwindel lead the Mountaineers offensively with a conference-best 10 goals each.

Silva, a native of Overland Park, Kan., ranks No. 5 nationally, No. 1 in the Big 12, with 31 points (10 G, 11 A), marking the first time she has reached double-figure totals in goals and assists in one season. She has scored at least one point in 14-of-15 matches and is one goal short of matching her 2012 output.

Schwindel, a native of Livingston, N.J., earned her second Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honor on Tuesday after earning six points last weekend, including the golden goal against the Horned Frogs. She has scored a goal in eight of WVU’s last 10 games, including four of the five conference matches. Her 10-goal output is a personal best single-season showing, and her 26 points (10 G, 6 A), the second-best mark in the Big 12, match her 2012 total.

WVU ranks No. 8 nationally, No. 1 in the Big 12, with a 7.80 points per game average. The Mountaineers also rank No. 13 nationally, No. 1 in the conference, in scoring offense (2.53 goals/game) and No. 2 in the Big 12 in total shots (262).

Keane earned her fifth shutout of the season last Friday, making four saves. All five of Keane’s clean slates have come in Morgantown. She shows 42 saves this season and a .677 save percentage.

The Jayhawks are riding a four-match winless streak after losing 1-0 to TCU in Lawrence last Friday. Despite going scoreless in its first three Big 12 matches, the KU defense has been strong, allowing just over one opponent goal per game this year. Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud ranks No. 2 in the conference in saves (68) and saves per game (4.86), and No. 4 in save percentage (.810). Forward Caroline Kastor leads KU with 11 points (4 G, 3 A).

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