No. 19 West Virginia takes down Oklahoma 2-0
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 02:10
The No. 19 West Virginia women’s soccer team hung onto its unbeaten streak with a win against the unranked Oklahoma Sooners during its final home game of the season. The Mountaineers remain at No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference, and they extended their winning streak to 12 games.
"I’m proud of the way we battled tonight," said head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "The girls showed they wanted to control their own destiny for a Big 12 championship."
The Mountaineer defense held the Sooners to only three shots on goal in the first half, in which sophomore goalkeeper Sara Keane saved all three shots. Offensively, West Virginia dominated in the first half with 10 shots, but entering the second half, the game remained scoreless.
"We had a lot of chances," Izzo-Brown said. "We knew what was on the line entering the second half."
Senior forward Bri Rodriguez attempted to score early in the second half. The shot resulted in a corner kick, but Oklahoma goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire was there for the save.
Sophomore forward Kate Schwindel hoped to give the Mountaineers the lead on a breakaway in the 56th minute, but her shot was wide left.
A breakaway pass to junior forward Frances Silva resulted in another corner kick for the Mountaineers in the 72nd minute, taken by senior defender Bry McCarthy.
After a shot was blocked by Devonshire, freshman Kailey Utley was there for the rebound and a quick pass to midfielder Amanda Hill, who fired a shot into the right side of the net from eight yards out, giving West Virginia a 1-0 advantage.
"In the second half, we came out, and we were just a force," Izzo-Brown said. "You could feel the pressure that we were applying, and Amanda (Hill) was able to finish that opportunity."
"You can always count on Amanda (Hill) defensively and offensively," Schwindel said. "I think she’s a player we’re going to look to from now on. She really creates momentum, and we look to her for the big plays she’s been making."
In the 80th minute, Schwindel took a long shot from 26 yards out and placed it over Devonshire’s head, extending the lead for the Mountaineers to 2-0.
"I tried to chip it over the defender, and it went in perfectly," Schwindel said.
West Virginia finished with 22 shots to Oklahoma’s 5.
Schwindel had a team-best six shots, and Keane finished the game with four saves.
An outstanding performance for the WVU defense added another Mountaineer shutout to the season. West Virginia now has seven shutouts in 2012.
"The back line was very organized, and Keane made some really great saves," Izzo-Brown said. "Between Keane and the back four, they did a great job. Collectively, the team managed the clock better tonight, and we did really well behind the ball."
The Mountaineers will close out their regular season with a road trip to Texas – a matchup between the league’s two top teams. Last night’s performance guarantees WVU no worse than the second seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
"Now, we need to focus on our last game and finish out strong," Schwindel said. "We proved that we are a top team, and I think we can do it if we show them everything we have left."
"We know Texas is looking for a Big 12 Championship, too, so both teams are going to be fighting," Izzo-Brown said. "It’s going to be a battle as we go into Austin."