MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 11-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team opens its 2014 home season at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium this weekend. The Mountaineers play host to No. 21 Duke on Friday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m., and to Elon on Sunday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m.
Friday’s match is a “Dollar Night,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for $1 each. Friday also is a “Gold Rush,” and fans are encouraged to wear gold in support of the Mountaineers. Additionally, all in attendance can pick up a 2014 women’s soccer schedule poster.
Tickets for Sunday’s match are $5 for adults, and just $3 for youth and seniors. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $2 each. Additionally, fans can print a coupon for one free popcorn at the concession stand on the team’s Twitter (@WVUWomensSoccer
) and Facebook (/WVUWomensSoccer)
“Opening the season away from Morgantown, and not being able to feel the energy and electricity from our fans, was definitely something we missed last weekend,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I know this team is really excited to be home and to play under the lights at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in front of family and friends.
“I think having Duke come to Morgantown is very exciting for this team and for the town. They bring a rich tradition of success with them, and this is a great matchup for our fans.”
The Blue Devils (0-2), a 2013 NCAA Tournament quarterfinalist, are the second ranked opponent in two weeks the Mountaineers have faced, as the team opened 2014 with a 3-1 loss at then-No. 11 Penn State on Aug. 22. WVU bounced back two days later with a comeback 3-2 victory over Missouri, also at Penn State, on Aug. 24.
|Junior forward Kelsie Maloney, the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Week, tallied five points (1 G, 3 A) in the Mountaineers' season-opening weekend at Penn State.
Steve Prunty Photo
“It would have been gut-wrenching to lose to the Tigers because I thought we played really good soccer, enough to win the match. It would have been cruel if we didn’t win because I thought we played well,” Izzo-Brown explained. “I think this team learned a lot of lessons on Sunday, and those will be critical as we move forward this season.”
WVU and Duke met for the first time in 2013, with the squads playing to a 1-1 double-overtime draw at the Duke Nike Classic, on Sept. 6, in Durham, North Carolina. Sunday’s meeting will be the first-ever between the Mountaineers and the Phoenix (1-1). With its win over Mizzou, WVU is 1-0 against first-time opponents this season.
Junior forward Kelsie Maloney
, the reigning Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, was a spark for the Mountaineers last weekend, as the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native tallied five points in two matches, including four points (1 G, 2 A) in the win over the Tigers. In addition to snagging the game equalizer, Maloney also set-up senior forward Kate Schwindel
’s two goals, including the game-winner in the 89th minute. The four points and two assists are career single-game bests. Maloney also assisted on sophomore defender Kadeisha Buchanan
’s score against the Nittany Lions.
Junior transfer Hannah Steadman
tallied six saves in two starts in goal last weekend.
Preseason-ranked No. 10, the Blue Devils dropped their first two matches of 2014, losing 1-0 to Ohio State on Aug. 22 and 2-0 to No. 6 Stanford on Aug. 24; both matches were at the UNC Nike Classic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Picked No. 5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll, Duke returns only three student-athletes who scored last season – Kelly Cobb (7), Toni Payne (3) and Malinda Allen (1).
The Phoenix opened 2014 with a 2-0 win over Jacksonville State on Aug. 22 and a 3-1 loss to Appalachian State on Aug. 24. Elon is riding a 24-match score streak, having tallied a goal in every match dating back to its double-overtime 1-0 loss to Georgia Southern in the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament. The Phoenix play host to Clemson on Aug. 29 before their trip to Morgantown.