WVU travels to face Central Michigan, No. 1 Stanford
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 06:08
The No. 18 West Virginia women’s soccer team will travel to Penn State this week to take part in the Penn State Invitational.
The tournament showcases three 2011 NSCAA Top 25 teams, including No. 1 Stanford, No. 8 Penn State and the Mountaineers.
"We are really the underdogs," said sophomore forward Kate Schwindel.
The Mountaineers will face Central Michigan today at 5 p.m.
In 2011, the Mountaineers beat CMU 2-1 in an exhibition, and outshot them 13-8.
According to Schwindel, the Mountaineers are working on taking more shots on goal and making opportunities in the midfield.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sara Keane had an outstanding performance in last season’s scrimmage against CMU, making crucial saves in the first half.
Following an off day Saturday, West Virginia will face the defending national champion Stanford Cardinal at noon Sunday.
Stanford is coming off a two-game winning streak, with a 2-0 exhibition win over Fresno State and a 6-1 blowout over Santa Clara.
Stanford returns this season with seven starters, including College Cup Defensive MVP Emily Oliver.
Due to injuries to many key players, WVU head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown was forced to play many inexperienced players in the last two games with a WVU team that was already young.
As a result, true freshman Kailey Utley scored her first goal in Sunday’s game against Western Carolina.
"We’re a young team," said senior midfielder Bri Rodriguez. "But we’re only going to get better as we go."
During the past two games, coach Izzo-Brown noted there weren’t many opportunities inside the penalty box but is confident after practice this week the team can get behind the back four to get more opportunities.
"I think we can do a better job getting behind (the back four) with more passes and some blind-sided runs," Izzo-Brown said.
As the underdogs, the Mountaineers are confident and excited to show everyone what they can accomplish this weekend.