Sophomore forward Kelsie Maloney has had an impressive 2013 season for the West Virginia University women’s soccer team.
Only in her second year the Harrisburg, Pa., native has started every game this season and improved statistics from her freshman year. Maloney doesn’t always get the attention she deserves playing with senior forward Frances Silva and junior forward Kate Schwindel, but Maloney’s anonymity is what makes her so dangerous.
Maloney was added to the 2012 Big 12 All-Newcomer Team in her freshman year. She chose to come to WVU for the same reason many of the other players chose to come: head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown.
“Nikki’s love for the game, the fact that she is family-oriented, and her intensity really caught my eye when I visited. I knew she could motivate me and help improve my game," Maloney said.
With only two games remaining in the regular season, Maloney has tallied six goals and four assists for a total of 16 points. In the 2012 season, Maloney tallied two goals and three assists for a total of seven points on the season.
Maloney recorded her first goal and assist of the 2013 season against Penn State after heading in a cross-sent from freshman midfielder Ashley Lawrence.
The sophomore forward then gave Silva the scoring opportunity when she sent the ball low in front of the net allowing Silva to kick it straight into the net.
WVU and Penn State would eventually tie at two goals each in the Penn State Invitational.
Maloney also showed great composure by solidifying the win at Oklahoma State in Mountaineers Big 12 opening game in the 72nd minute, heading in a cross from Schwindel into the left corner.
By assisting on Schwindel’s goal in the 98th minute against TCU, the Mountaineers won the game in overtime, continuing the undefeated streak in the Big 12.
Maloney was asked during her freshman year what team she would like to play while at WVU, and this season she got her wish.
“I would say North Carolina because of its tradition of success. I like the challenge of competing against the best," she said.
The Mountaineers competed against then No. 1 and No.12 North Carolina and Duke in the Duke Nike Classic.
Maloney started and played 17 games during her freshman year.
Maloney recorded her first career goal at Purdue, in which tied the game at 1-1 when she sent the ball low to the left post. She nearly scored the game winner in overtime, but Purdue’s Kridler, who had a season-high seven saves in the match, deflected her shot.
Maloney scored her sixth goal of the season against Kansas on Senior Night Friday, netting a Big 12-best fourth game-winning goal of the season.
“I did it for the seniors. We wanted to win this one for a couple of reasons. We were definitely emotional, and I brought it out on the field,” Maloney said.
“You have (Silva) and you have (Schwindel), and those are two tough players to deal with, but (Maloney) brings something to the field that people don’t think about,” Izzo-Brown said. “I’m really proud of the way she’s handling this year and coming within her own. She’s finishing some critical moments for us.”