WVU wins ninth-straight game
Finishes second in conference’s American Division
Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010 12:10
Capitalizing on its few opportunities led the West Virginia women's soccer team to its ninth-straight victory, as the Mountaineers defeated Providence 2-1 Sunday on Senior Day.
The Mountaineers have now tied a program-best nine-straight wins.
West Virginia finished second in the Big East Conference's American Division behind Marquette. The Mountaineers will have a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament starting this week.
The Mountaineers (13-4-1, 9-1-1 Big East) had few scoring opportunities in the first half, but turned it on in the second, scoring the game's first goal nine minutes into the half.
Defender Drea Barklage gave the Mountaineers the lead 53:06 into the game when she took a header off a corner kick from fellow defender Bry McCarthy to beat Providence's goalkeeper Caitlin Walker.
"We practice (corner kicks) a lot during training," Barklage said, who has been limited because of an ankle injury. "I can't really practice that much, but when I do get in there, I do focus on set pieces and play calling.
"We know we're special on set pieces, so if our forwards can hold it down there and get us a corner kick, we'll do what we can to finish it."
Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said the team works hard at perfecting its set plays on corner kicks.
"That's something that we can be dangerous in and we can execute," Izzo-Brown said. "The girls did a really good job today coming out and executing that, so it was big time."
Just six minutes later, West Virginia found itself up 2-0, when freshman forward Frances Silva got the ball on a pass in the air from midfielder Bri Rodriguez and took a shot on the ground past Walker.
Silva's goal was her second in the last three games.
The Friars (9-8-2, 3-7-2) did not go away without a fight, though. With 13:15 remaining, Providence got a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. The shot hit the crossbar and defender Jenna Roncarati, who appeared to be offsides, followed up the shot and put it past WVU goalkeeper Kerri Butler.
"I thought she was offsides, because I tipped it off the crossbar. She was right there in front of me," Butler said. "Regardless, we need to follow our marks either way, but we won so that's all that matters."
The Mountaineers outshot the Friars 15-10, and WVU only allowed two shots on goal.
The game became more physical halfway through the second half. Yellow cards were given to four different players, three of them to Providence. Midfielder Bri Rodriguez received WVU's only card for shoving a Providence player near the sideline as she tried to gain possession of the ball.
Forward Blake Miller led the Mountaineers with three shots on goal. Rodriguez recorded an assist on the goal by Silva and McCarthy had an assist and two shots on goal.