MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 14 West Virginia women’s soccer team closes out the regular season with a road trip to Texas on Friday, Oct. 26. Kickoff at Mike A. Myers Stadium is slated for 8:30 p.m. EDT and will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
ESPN's Monica Gonzalez will serve as analyst and Glenn Davis will handle the play-by-play duties for Friday’s final Big 12 Conference match. Gonzalez is a former member of the Mexico national women's team and was part of the 2004 Olympic team. Davis is a former U.S. professional soccer player and was a NAIA All-American.
“Friday is a big game for us with a lot at stake with seeding still to be determined for Texas,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “We want to finish out conference play unbeaten and improve our RPI. It’s important to finish on a strong note heading into postseason play.”
The Longhorns are the only Big 12 program West Virginia has faced prior to this season. Texas scored a 2-1 win over the visiting Mountaineers in the 2004 NCAA Tournament Second Round, the only meeting between the schools.
Preseason All-Big 12 forwards Kate Schwindel
and Frances Silva
have combined for 19 goals and nine assists to lead the WVU offense. Twelve different players on the current roster have scored a goal in their Mountaineer careers.
The Mountaineers (10-3-4) are coming off a solid 2-0 win over visiting Oklahoma on Oct. 18. West Virginia outshot OU 12-2 in the second half, scoring on goals from midfielder Amanda Hill
and forward Kate Schwindel
. The Mountaineer defense eliminated several scoring tries, allowing only five shots on the night.
“We have been improving each week, and hopefully can carry that momentum into our final regular-season game,” says Izzo-Brown.
Coach Angela Kelly is in her first season at UT, joining the Longhorns after 12 successful years at Tennessee. Two Longhorns were named Preseason All-Big 12 in seniors Kristin Cummins and Hannah Higgins.
“There is a lot of talent on the Texas roster, and I had the opportunity to work with their goalkeeper Abby Smith with the Under-20 national team,” says Izzo-Brown. “She is very athletic and extremely hard to score on because she covers so much ground.”
Texas (7-9-1) is led defensively by Smith, only a rookie. She has appeared in only nine matches after missing the first eight contests while playing with the U.S. U20 national team. A young, but athletic back line has helped Texas post six shutouts on the season, while allowing only four goals in Big 12 play – the fewest in the Conference.
Offensively, the UT offense features a balanced attack led by midfielder Sharis Lachappelle’s team-best five goals. Cummins and Higgins have combined for seven goals and eight assists, with four-game winning scores.
West Virginia is riding a 12-match unbeaten streak.
Fans can follow the action via GameTracker at WVUsports.com.