MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 7-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team will face No. 4-ranked and top-seeded Virginia Tech in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m., at Thompson Field, in Blacksburg, Va. The match will be streamed on ESPN3.
Tomorrow’s match is the Mountaineers’ (16-3-3, 7-1 Big 12) ninth appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and first since 2010. WVU earned the right to advance following a 0-0 double-overtime draw against Rutgers on Nov. 16; the Mountaineers trumped the Scarlet Knights 3-0 in a penalty kick shootout. VT (17-4-2, 9-3-1 ACC) earned a 2-0, first-round victory over UMBC on Nov. 15.
“I’ve seen our team practice for so many months now and do the things they’ve been doing all season long, and I know this team will always step up to any challenge,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I’ve said this before – it’s not necessarily what we’ve accomplished this season, but what we’ve overcome. This team has definitely stepped up to the challenges, the adversity and the pressure. I’m behind them.”
The Mountaineers, the 2013 Big 12 Conference champions, enter the match unbeaten in 13 of their last 14 contests. WVU is 12-13-1 in all-time NCAA Tournament matches, 5-7 away from Morgantown and 3-5 in second-round appearances.
WVU owns a 3-1 all-time record against VT. The two squads’ last meeting also came in the NCAA Tournament, with the Hokies earning a 1-0 first-round victory at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, on Nov. 12, 2011. The Mountaineers last won in Blacksburg in 2002, a 2-0 victory on Oct. 23.
“Our sophomores and freshmen weren’t here for the 2011 loss, so they aren’t familiar with Virginia Tech at all,” says Izzo-Brown. “The seniors can backup what I’m saying this week, but we have a lot of players that weren’t here for that last matchup.”
Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane
and the Mountaineer defense have posted four straight shutouts, pushing their season total to 10. Keane has not allowed a goal this month, and in the past two matches, she has tallied 16 combined stops. She shows 66 saves on the season, the fifth-best total in the Big 12 and the ninth-best WVU single-season mark. Keane owns a .742 save percentage. With 27 career shootouts, she ranks No. 3 in program history.
Senior forward Frances Silva
leads the Mountaineers’ offensive attack, scoring nine goals in the team’s last 10 matches. The Overland Park, Kan., native has tallied at least one point in 18 of 22 matches and shows 43 points (15 G, 13 A) on the year. She ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference in points, assists and goals, and No. 7, No. 7 and No. 21 in the NCAA in the same categories.
The Hokies earned their first tournament No. 1 seed following their second-place showing in the ACC Championships. VT’s 17 wins are the program’s all-time record, while the team’s 49 goals also are a program record.
Senior forward Jazmine Reeves leads the Hokies with 25 points (10 G, 5 A), while freshman forward Murielle Tiernan has chipped in 23 points (9 G, 5 A). Senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts has allowed 17 goals this season and recorded nine shutouts.
“Virginia Tech is a team that doesn’t give up a lot of scores, but can put a lot of goals on the board,” Izzo-Brown says. “It’s going to be tough to score on them. Colpitts is a very experienced keeper – she’s played at the international level. We just have to make sure that we’re very focused in front of the net.”
The winner of tomorrow evening’s match will meet the winner of No. 4 seed Santa Clara – Boston University on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m., at Thompson Field.