No. 11 Women's Soccer Scores Victory

  • By Shannon McNamara
  • |
  • August 31, 2014 04:10 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 11-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team earned its first 2014 victory at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium today, defeating Elon, 2-0.
The final score does not reflect the dominance the Mountaineers (2-2) demonstrated over the Phoenix (1-3), as the home squad controlled possession throughout the match and throttled the visitors statistically, outshooting Elon 27-1, including nine shots on-goal. WVU also earned a 10-2 advantage on corner kicks.
“We found a way to push through and finish today,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We’re pleased with the result. There’s a problem if we’re not creating chances, which we did. Now, we just need to be focused around the net.”
Five Mountaineers finished with at least three shots each, with junior forward Kailey Utley leading the pack with six shots, including a game-high three on-goal; both marks are career highs.
Junior goalkeeper Hannah Steadman earned the shutout, her first as a Mountaineer. Elon’s Sydney Branson suffered the loss; three goalkeepers saw time for the Phoenix today.
Despite taking 21 shots in the first half, the Mountaineers needed a penalty kick in the 45th minute to finally get on the board, with senior defender Jess Crowder earning the score, her first career goal. Crowder’s opportunity followed a foul drawn by freshman forward Toryn Broadwater in the box.
“We needed that leadership, and that’s exactly what Jess gave us with that PK,” Izzo-Brown said. “That was a huge moment for us.”  
The Mountaineers used pretty footwork to pad their lead in the 63rd minute. Junior midfielder Cari Price played a nice ball to a streaking Utley. After playing with the Phoenix defense and drawing Elon’s Kate Murphy out of the goal, she sent a cross to senior forward Kate Schwindel right at the line for the easy score.
The goal was Schwindel’s third of the season, and the Livingston, New Jersey, native now ranks No. 8 in the Mountaineer record book with 29 career goals. She shows a team-best seven points this season.
The Mountaineers had plenty of opportunities to break open the scoring in the first half. The team’s first chance came 11 minutes into the match, as forward Kelsie Maloney met a perfectly placed cross from Schwindel, but her shot from six-yards out hit the post. She recovered the deflection and sent another shot toward the goal, but an Elon defender cleared it from the goal line.
Utley had back-to-back shots on-goal in the 26th minute, taking advantage of a mishandled ball by Branson. Utley’s first shot was blocked by Branson’s body at the 16-yard line. The St. Louis, Missouri, native jumped on the deflection and sent a second shot toward the net, but again a Phoenix defender was there to clear the chance.
Utley’s third shot on-goal of the first half came in the 32nd minute, but Branson came through with the save, pushing the ball up over the crossbar.
Today was the first meeting between WVU and Elon. The Mountaineers are now 2-0 against first-time opponents this season.
The Mountaineers play host to the 90 Minute Classic next weekend at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. WVU meets Hofstra on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., and UNC Greensboro on Sept. 7 at 5 p.m.


NCAA, women's soccer, Big 12 Conference

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