Mountaineers hit the road to face TCU
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 07:09
The No. 21 West Virginia women’s soccer team will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend to take on TCU in its first Big 12 Conference game away from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
It will be the Horned Frogs’ first Big 12 conference match this season and the first time they have squared off against the Mountaineers in school history.
TCU returns six starters from last season, led by first-year head coach Eric Bell.
The Horned Frogs ended their three-game winning streak Friday night in a 2-1 overtime loss at Denver. The overtime match was TCU’s first since Nov. 2, 2011 when they played in a 1-1 double overtime tie to Wyoming.
Junior forward Brittany Slyman leads the Horned Frogs’ offense with three goals and two assists and a team-best 16 shots. Senior midfielder Monica Alvarado has also scored three goals. And freshman midfielder Makenzie Koch had her fifth assist of the season in Friday night’s loss and is tied for league lead in assists.
TCU’s defense has allowed only eight goals in 10 matches this season. The eight goals allowed ranks second in the Big 12; only Baylor has allowed fewer goals of five in its first 12 games.
TCU goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold currently has the best save percentage in the Big 12 (.860). Arnold has made a season-high nine saves.
Arnold ties West Virginia goalkeeper Sara Keane for league-best five shutouts this season.
The Mountaineers are on a four-game winning streak, defeating Big 12 conference teams Texas Tech (3-2), and defending Big 12 champions No. 7 Oklahoma State (1-0) and non-conference teams Towson (5-0) and High Point (6-0).
Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown was pleased with the result of the team’s first two conference matches in the Big 12 and hopes to continue success on the road.
"All week we’ve tried to focus on improving our possession and defending," said sophomore midfielder Ali Connelly. "We had a good start in the Big 12, and if we can improve on those things for (today’s) game, we hope to continue our success."
Leading the offense for West Virginia is the outstanding duo of junior forward Frances Silva and sophomore forward Kate Schwindel with 18 points each. The duo has five of the six game-winning goals for the team.
After the weekend, Silva scored three goals, including both game-winners, to give WVU its first Big 12 victories. She was named Soccer News Net’s National Player of the week, ECAC Division I Women’s Soccer Player of the Week, College Sports Madness Women’s Soccer’s Offensive Player of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week.
Silva leads the Mountaineer offense and the Big 12 with eight goals and two assists. Schwindel has seven goals and four assists.
Defensively, the Mountaineers have posted three shutouts in their last four matches. Keane has played every minute in the goal and has a 0.93 goals-against average.