WVU ends nonconference play vs. Towson, High Point
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 07:09
As the weekend approaches, the West Virginia women’s soccer team will enter its final two games of nonconference play before kicking off the inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.
"We are just trying to control the things we can control," said head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "Technically, we are trying to control those things, and then we are trying to eliminate mental errors.
"(We are) continuing to make sure the mistakes that we make won’t happen again."
West Virginia will be at home for its final weekend of nonconference play, first on Friday when it hosts Towson at 7 p.m., and then Sunday at 1 p.m. when High Point travels to Morgantown for the second consecutive year. High Point lost 1-0 to the Mountaineers in 2011.
Both teams come into the weekend struggling. Towson has yet to win a game, sitting at 0-5 on the season, while High Point posts a record of 1-3-3. Both schools are struggling, but Izzo-Brown believes there is a great amount to learn playing against teams at the non-BCS level, especially after one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country.
"I think we like to (play) a variety of different types of programs," Izzo-Brown said. "I think each one will represent different things and different problems."
While Izzo-Brown concentrates on entire teams when playing schools like Penn State and Stanford, she has to change her game plan when facing smaller schools.
"Every non-BCS school will present their problems," Izzo-Brown said. "They have kids that develop throughout the program and have talent. They rely a little bit more individually on some of their talented players."
One Mountaineer Izzo-Brown hopes to light a spark under this weekend, especially with Big 12 play inching closer, is junior Frances Silva.
Silva, who has only registered one goal so far, at the forward position, is someone Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers planned to lean on offensively this season. Izzo-Brown said she hopes Silva can get it together this weekend and start putting balls in the back of the net.
"(Silva) has to focus on getting better," she said. "She is making mistakes; she just has to get through them and figure out a way through hard work. She is definitely missing chances that she and I both know she can finish."
Izzo-Brown will need Silva to start to be a scoring threat on offense in conference play, especially with the way the past four games have gone. West Virginia has played four straight overtime games, losing one and coming to a tie in the other three. In those four games, the Mountaineers have averaged a mere goal per game.
Obviously the results are not what Izzo-Brown is looking for, but there certainly were good aspects of those games.
"When you’re in overtime, of course you are going to be a pretty fit team. When you’re in overtime of course it is going to be a gut check," Izzo-Brown said. "It’s an opportunity for us to see what we can do in overtime and what we can’t do in overtime."
At this point in the season, the Mountaineers sit at 2-3-3. They have two final dress rehearsals before the real season starts. Izzo-Brown knows there is work to do, but as Big 12 play approaches, the head coach is eager for it to kick off.
"Going into Big 12 play, we are excited," she said. "For me, I just don’t know what to expect, so I want to have as much preparation as possible, but at the end of the day I’m looking forward to get into it and getting after it."