No. 19 West Virginia looks to maintain lead in Big 12 standing against Sooners
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 03:10
The West Virginia women’s soccer team will celebrate Oktoberfest and its final home game of the 2012 season tonight at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium against Oklahoma in a Big 12 Conference match at 7 p.m.
This week the Mountaineers moved to No. 19 in SoccerAmerica’s Top 25 rankings, and ranked No. 23 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.
"It’s critical for us to get a result as we get this close to the end of conference play this season," said head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "Every point is important. If we can take care of what we need to take care of, we can control our own destiny."
Oklahoma will go into tonight’s game on a two-match winning streak after defeating Kansas, 1-0, and TCU, 3-1.
The Sooners are led by first-year head coach Matt Potter.
Sooner senior forward Renae Cuellar leads the team with nine goals and one assist for a total of 19 points. Cuellar earned her second Newcomer of the Week after scoring two game-winning goals last week.
"Renae (Cuellar) is a true goal scorer," Izzo-Brown said. "It’s going to be a tough defensive battle, and we need to shut down a productive Oklahoma team."
Oklahoma sophomore midfielder Emily Bowman was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. This past weekend, Bowman assisted the game-winning goal against Kansas and scored Oklahoma’s first goal in its win over TCU, 3-1.
This week the Big 12 Conference named WVU sophomore goalkeeper Sara Keane its Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Keane played a big part in the Mountaineers first-place standing in the Big 12 Conference, after their tie against No. 20 Baylor last Friday. Keane tied her career high with eight saves, facing 21 shots on goal and 10 corner kicks taken by Baylor.
Both Izzo-Brown and Keane expressed the importance of tonight’s game.
"It is our last home game," Keane said. "We want to send our seniors out with a bang and hopefully continue to win from there."
The West Virginia women’s soccer team has had players earn a Big 12 weekly recognition in five of the nine weeks this season.
The Mountaineers extended their unbeaten streak to 11 matches.
"I think our momentum was very good last week. I thought we played hard, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t manage the clock as well as we would have liked," Izzo-Brown said. "We just learn from our mistakes."
Tonight’s game will feature an evening full of American and German food and drink, including a Biergarten. German dishes such as sausage, pretzels, potato salad and more will be served in a tent adjacent to the seating area.
Two German beers and domestic beers also will be available for purchase.
Tonight’s game is also "Dollar Night," with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks available for $1 each. Admission is free for WVU students with a valid student ID.