Mountaineers end spring season with win over AB
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 00:04
The West Virginia women’s soccer team ended its spring season on a high note with a shutout win against in-state foe Alderson-Broaddus College 3-0 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium Saturday evening.
"It was a great way to end the spring," said head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "In the locker room, we just talked a little bit about how they wanted to end their spring, so the girls really spoke to some things, and I thought they executed it well ... It’s a great way to finish."
The first of three first half Mountaineers goals came off the foot of Big East Rookie of the Year Kate Schwindel. After sophomore forward Frances Silva was taken down, the Mountaineers were granted a free kick just outside the box. Schwindel blasted the ball over the defensive wall to the upper right-hand corner of the goal.
Minutes after the first goal, freshman midfielder Whitney Cavender added another. Cavender capitalized on the ball trickling through the keeper’s hands on a Schwindel cross from the right. Cavender tapped the ball into an empty net for the score.
The Mountaineers chalked up one more goal with less than a minute left in the first half. With time winding down, West Virginia made its final offensive push, with senior Drea Barklage putting the ball in the back of the net.
Barklage, who graduates in May, is playing this spring because of the numerous injuries the Mountaineers have suffered. While only dressing 13 players for the final match of the spring season, Izzo-Brown was glad to get out of the Alderson-Broaddus match without injury.
"The only thing I ask for in the spring is that we want to get a little bit better, but most importantly, no injuries," Izzo-Brown said. "It was good that Drea (Barklage) came to give us a little rest."
Up 3-0, the Mountaineers maintained their attack for the remainder of the match, but did not put another ball in the net. The Mountaineers’ defense, particularly the back line, crippled the Alderson-Broaddus attack all game, eliminating any offensive threat.
Leading the back line this spring has been junior Bry McCarthy, the only returning member from the fall team, and junior Mallory Smith. Smith moved her way up to starting defensive midfield last year, and Izzo-Brown has been pleased with Smith’s transition to the back line.
"I think there are a lot of similarities, but a lot of differences (between midfielder and back line)," Izzo-Brown said. "We’ve played her a lot in the spring, so I think she really understands it and has that confidence.
"It’s more of a confidence thing and mental skills, and she’s really focused on that this spring."
With the shutout victory against Alderson-Broaddus College, the Mountaineers finished the spring with a 3-1-2 record.
The first match of the fall season is a home match against LaSalle on August 17.