West Virginia plays in third-straight overtime game in 1-1 draw
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 06:09
A trend is developing with the West Virginia women’s soccer team, and it has not been pleasant.
The Mountaineers played their third double-overtime game Thursday night in as many tries against the Duquesne Dukes that ended in a second straight draw for WVU.
"We are struggling to put 90 minutes together," said head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "That is something that we need to do. That’s our focus heading into Sunday."
The Mountaineers registered an outstanding 41 shots – the fourth-largest number in program history; however, shots do not put points on the scoreboard.
"You are going to have those games, and we just can’t give up goals as easily as we have been," Izzo-Brown said.
The Dukes were on the board first when senior forward Paige Maroney struck the ball from 14 yards out past sophomore goalkeeper Sara Keane. Late in the second half, Keane was left with one-on-one again after the defensive back line broke down.
"We are just trying to figure out what we can do defensively to get shutouts," Izzo-Brown said. "Unfortunately we weren’t able to do it tonight.
"We’ve got to figure it out because defense wins championships."
The Mountaineers went into halftime down 1-0, only registering four shots on goal. Struggling to create an offensive attack, Izzo-Brown emphasized the importance of taking quality shots.
It did not take long for Izzo-Brown’s halftime pep talk to set in for sophomore Kate Schwindel, who fired a beautiful ball that entered from a drop pass, coming off the foot of freshman Kelsie Maloney into the goal early in the second half.
"After halftime, we knew this was a team we couldn’t lose to," Schwindel said. "We knew we had to come out and at least tie it up and get those chances. You’re not going to score any goals without any chances."
Schwindel’s offensive assault continued into the half, blasting a ball from beyond the penalty box that nosedived toward the goal before crashing into the crossbar and out of play.
While Schwindel and the Mountaineers continued the attack, putting six shots on goal and taking nine corner kicks, the Duquesne defense and goalkeeper Ashley Szalwinksi refused to allow a score and forced the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, the game went from an offensive onslaught to a defensive deadlock, with both teams failing to generate much offense.
It looked like West Virginia would escape with a win this time when Maloney had an open net after Schwindel crossed the ball across the box, but the young freshman sent the ball sailing over the goal.
"(Maloney) just has to keep her head up (and) keep taking chances," Keane said. "She can outrun anyone (and) finish anytime. We have a lot of confidence in her."
The game would eventually end in a draw, but not before Duquesne led one last ditch effort. With the clock inside two seconds, the Duke forward blew past the WVU defense that was pushed forward in an attempt to score. Keane made a diving save to preserve the 1-1 tie.
At this point in the season, Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers sit at 2-3-2, winless in their last four matches since beating then No. 1 Stanford. Being unable to build upon the win against the Cardinal has the Mountaineers sputtering, but senior Bry McCarthy claims the Mountaineers are ready to spark the energy.
"Now is the time to pick up the momentum."