No. 14 Mountaineers kickoff Big 12 tourney in pursuit of third-straight conference title
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 08:10
As the underdog entering the Big 12, the No. 14 West Virginia’s women’s soccer team has secured a Big 12 Conference regular season title, earning it the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championship.
The Mountaineers finished the Big 12 with a 7-0-1 record, marking the sixth time a team has won the regular season title without a loss.
The Mountaineers will face No. 8 seed TCU tonight. The game will be held at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This will be the second meeting with TCU this season, the first resulting in a 2-1 WVU victory.
"It’s great that we won the regular season and we’re the regular season champions," said West Virginia head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "We’re really excited. We know it’s going to be a tough tournament."
The top 8 teams in the Big 12 conference are seeded as follows: No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Kansas, No. 7 defending-champion Oklahoma State.
TCU wrapped up the regular season with a 6-9-3 overall and 1-5-2 in league play. Despite the 0-2 loss against Baylor Friday night, the Horned Frogs were able to still make the conference tournament.
The last time the Mountaineers faced the Horned Frogs, senior midfielder Bri Rodriguez scored her first goal of the season and gave WVU a 2-1 victory. WVU goalkeeper Sara Keane finished with five saves.
Earlier this week, TCU freshman defender Bobbi Clemmer was selected to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Clemmer has played in every game this season and has helped the Horned Frogs record six shutouts.
Freshman midfielder Makenzie Koch leads the Big 12 in assists per game.
TCU goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold leads the Big 12 in saves per game. Arnold has the third-best save percentage of .812, the second most saves overall, and the third most shutouts.
West Virginia’s Sara Keane has the best save percentage in the Big 12. Keane ranked No. 2 in shutouts this season and recorded the third most saves overall in conference play.
Sophomore forward Kate Schwindel leads the Big 12 conference in assists. With eight goals and nine assists this season, Schwindel racks up the second-highest points total in the Big 12 with 26 points.
Seven Mountaineers earned All-Big 12 recognition this week, and coach Izzo-Brown was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year. Senior Bry McCarthy was chosen Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
"Everyone has a role to do," Izzo-Brown said. "We feel like we can get the job done, everyone is focused and ready. We’re going to get after it."
For six seniors this will be the last tournament they will compete in at the college level.
"We have a lot of motivation for our seniors," Izzo-Brown said. "We want to give everything we got for them and make sure they go out on top."
The Big 12 Digital Network on Big12Sports.com will stream all quarterfinal and semifinal matches live, and FOX Sports Network (FSN) will broadcast the championship match.