Three first-half goals and a stingy defensive effort guided the West Virginia women's soccer team past visiting Alderson-Broaddus, 3-0, Saturday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
"Before the game we talked about how we wanted to end the spring and I thought we came out sharp from the beginning and played some good soccer," said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "We made some improvements throughout (the spring) and it was nice to come away with a shutout today."
Forward Kate Schwindel put the Mountaineers up 1-0 in the eighth minute on a free kick from 20 yards out after teammate Frances Silva was taken down outside the top of the box. Schwindel sent a rocket over the right side of the wall and into the right corner of the goal to give WVU the early lead.
In the 17th minute, midfielder Whitney Cavender finished a ball played into the heart of the box from Schwindel in the right corner. The pass was deflected off the glove of the AB goalkeeper who came off her line as Cavender stepped forward and put the ball into the back of the net from six yards out.
"Schwindel's goal was brilliant and Whitney really stepped up and finished a nice scoring try," said Izzo-Brown. "That early lead gave us some confidence to continue connecting our passes and generate scoring chances."
The Mountaineers nearly added to their lead in the 25th minute on a shot from forward Sam Molina. Schwindel made a quick pass to Molina at the top of the box where her shot drifted just high of the crossbar.
West Virginia completed its scoring with under a minute to play in the opening half as Drea Barklage worked the back side of the goal and found an empty net with 33 seconds remaining.
In the 75th minute, midfielder Megan Robinson nearly added a goal on a shot just high of the goal. Defender Bry McCarthy made a run up the left flank and served ball across the middle where Robinson took a shot from 16 yards out.
Goalkeeper Katie Osterman worked all 90 minutes in helping the defense record its second clean sheet of the spring season.
The Mountaineer defense did not allow a shot on-goal and held the Battlers without a corner kick try.
WVU, which dressed only 13 players tonight, ends the spring season with a 3-1-2 mark. The Mountaineers return six starters this fall in West Virginia's inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.
"The ladies will be studying hard for finals this week before taking a few days off of soccer," said Izzo-Brown. "Then it's back to work. The preparation never stops and we are looking forward to an exciting and challenging 2012 season."