PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 14, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s soccer team will hit the road to face No. 12/9 West Virginia Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Knights will take on their former BIG EAST rival for the first time since 2011 and enter the contest on a four-match unbeaten streak.
The Mountaineers, winners of the Big 12 Championship, look to build upon their three-match winning streak when they host RU in their 11th home game of the season.
“It really is a fun matchup in many ways,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “We were former rivals in the BIG EAST Conference and I respect their staff and their program. Nikki Izzo-Brown has been there from the start and turned them into one of the top programs in the country.
“I think every game we’ve played against them has been tightly contested with opportunities on both sides. At their place they’ve had the better of it but it’s the NCAA Tournament – you always have a preference to be home but we got to secure an at-large berth and we’re really, really excited about it.”
The Scarlet Knights were edged, 8-7, in penalty kicks in their last match, falling to No. 16/16 UCF in the American Athletic Conference Championship Finals. Redshirt senior Jess Janosz (Ringwood, N.J.) made a career-high 10 saves in that contest.
The netminder enters the matchup playing some of the best soccer of her career. She has recorded two consecutive shutouts and has now allowed a goal in the last 250:99 minutes of soccer and allowed just one goal in her last 424:47 minutes dating back to the Scarlet Knights’ 2-1 loss to UConn on Oct. 24, Since then Janosz has recorded 22 saves and posted three shutouts.
Scouting West Virginia
The Mountaineers enter the NCAA Tournament on a three-match winning streak and have not allowed a goal in that span, outscoring their opponents, 5-0. The squad defeated Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship game, 1-0 on Sunday, Nov. 10.
The team has dropped just one conference match since joining the Big 12 last season. That loss came against No. 18 Texas Tech by a 2-0 margin on Oct. 27 of this season.
Frances Silva leads the team in points (43), goals (15) and assists (13) this season. She has notched three goals in the last three contests, as her points total is tied for sixth nationally. Silva’s 13 assists are tied for seventh nationally.
With an average a 2.24 goals per game, West Virginia boasts the No. 24 scoring offense in the country. The team’s 47 assists is tied for 13th nationally, while the Mountaineers boast five players with double-digit points this season - Silva, Kate Schwinel (28), Ashley Lawrence (12), Cari Price (12) and Kelsie Maloney (16).
WVU is 1-2-2 against ranked opponents this season, tying Penn State and Duke, losing to North Carolina and defeating Baylor. The team has posted nearly twice as many corner kicks as its opponents this season, holding a 153-78 advantage.
Mountaineers’ goalkeeper Sara Keane owns a 1.07 GAA and .720 save percentage this season. She has recorded nine shutouts.
Series vs. The Mountaineers
RU is 4-11 all-time against West Virginia, dropping the last meeting between the two schools, 1-0, on Sept. 21, 2011. The Scarlet Knights last defeated WVU on Oct. 5, 2008. RU has never topped WVU at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
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