Women's Soccer Games of the Week (9/20 - 9/23)

UCF Women's College Soccer Goal keeper Aline Reis

Week 6 Women’s Soccer Games of the Week - 9/20 thru 9/23

This week there is an interesting mix of rivalry games. Upstart Virginia goes on the road to Virginia Tech and West Virginia makes its maiden voyage into the Big 12 conference taking on conference best, Oklahoma State. The ability to go on the road and win is going to start to become more and more important as everybody, for the most part, is now getting into the heart of their conference schedules.


#11 VIRGINIA TECH AT #16 NORTH CAROLINA (7:00 P.M. EDT, Thursday at Fetzer Field, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

The Hokies (9-0-0) come into a big conference weekend with North Carolina and Boston College on fire as they have been virtually unstoppable defensively, allowing only two goals and posting eight clean sheets so far in 2012. Redshirt junior forward, Shannon Mayrose, leads the way for Virginia Tech offensively with six goals in the team’s balanced attack. The Tar Heels (4-2-2) come into this matchup with their backs against the wall after a tough weekend on the road losing at Maryland on Thursday, and battling to a draw against Virginia on Sunday. They need to continue to feed Kealia Ohai upfront and create as many scoring chances for her as possible if North Carolina is going to break down the Virginia Tech defense. They also have to get ahead early to put the pressure on the Hokie attack and need to press forward and open up the flow of the game. This should be a low scoring contest that should favor the Tar Heels because they are at home, but Virginia Tech is playing excellent soccer. This is too close to call.


TENNEESSEE AT #23 FLORIDA (Friday, 7 P.M. EDT at James G. Pressly Stadium, Gainesville, Florida)

A good old fashioned southern rivalry takes to the pitch on Friday night, as the Volunteers (6-1-2) attempt to get rolling.  They only have one win out of the last four matches. The lack of being able to put the ball in the back of the net consistently the past four games has been the main cause of the 1-1-2 streak. On the flip side, the encouraging thing offensively is the Volunteers have not had any issue generating shots as they had 27 in a 1-1 draw against Vanderbilt as sophomore Hannah Wilkinson scored the lone goal for Tennessee. The Gators (4-3-1) have been up and down this season as well as they knocked off ACC power Duke 3-2 on August 26th, and have suffered tough in-state losses to Miami in the opener 4-1, and Florida State on the road in a hard-fought 1-0 match on August 31st.   Florida comes in with some renewed confidence as they knocked off Auburn on the road last Sunday 2-1 as Adriana Leon knocked in the golden goal at the 99:28 mark to secure the win. Defending has been a struggle for Florida as they have allowed 12 goals in eight matches. The keys to this game are pretty straight forward. For Tennessee, they need to continue to attack the goal and finish scoring chances. The Gators need to be consistent on the backline and not let the Volunteers get behind too many times and cash in on set pieces. This match has the look on the surface of a draw or a one-goal contest.


#4 OKLAHOMA STATE AT WEST VIRGINIA (Sunday, 12 P.M. EDT at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia)

The Cowgirls (9-1-0) come into their first real true road test right off the bat in Big 12 play as they will be taking on newcomer West Virginia on the back end of a two-game road swing that  starts on Friday in Lawrence against Kansas. This will be a big test travel wise for Oklahoma State as with a noon start time on Sunday, they will have a very short turn-around time to get ready for an always difficult to play Mountaineer (4-3-3) squad led by Head Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. Oklahoma State has bounced back nicely from losing to rival Oklahoma 1-0 back on September 7th in Norman. West Virginia has had a bit of a roller coaster ride so far in 2012 as they upset Stanford 1-0 back on August 26th at the Penn State Tournament but have had some tough results against LaSalle and Miami. They come into their maiden voyage in the Big 12 with some much needed momentum as they pounded Towson and High Point by a combined 11-0 margin this past weekend. The Mountaineers are led offensively by sophomore Kate Schwindel, who is the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. She has seven goals and four assists on the season to pace West Virginia overall. Defense has been a little bit problematic for the Mountaineers as they already have allowed ten goals so far in 2012. It is going to be very critical for them to stay locked in the high flying Oklahoma State attack led by Megan Marchesano, who has been absolutely clutch with three game winning goals so far in 2012 and six overall goals on the season. It will be interesting to see if longer travel is going to have an effect on elite teams in the Big 12. I am expecting a fairly high scoring contest with West Virginia possibly squeaking it out thanks to being at home.