One And A Half Wins

West Virginia's men's and women's soccer teams fininshed the exhibition season with solid performances, although the men managed to make it through just over a half before weather put a stop to their match.

The women's soccer team built a 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-2 decision over James Madison on Saturday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The Dukes came out aggressive and controlled the tempo in the opening minutes of the first half. The Mountaineers quickly countered, taking a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the match as junior Amanda Cicchini scored on a rebound deflection.

WVU added to its lead less than five minutes later with a score from senior Ashley Banks. Cicchini placed a through ball to Banks who was left one-on-one with the JMU goalkeeper. Banks worked her way around the Duke's Diane Wszalek to touch the ball into the net and make it 2-0.

West Virginia rode the momentum in scoring its third goal of the half on a Deana Everrett goal. The junior received a perfectly executed pass from junior Michelle Molinari to take a 3-0 lead.

The Dukes found the back of the net with a corner kick goal with 3:41 remaining in the half. Mandy Miller sent a ball to the near corner where Lauren Bell headed the ball past WVU's Mallory Beck.

The Mountaineers built a 4-1 lead less than six minutes into period number two. Sophomore Nikki Mailloux crossed the bar far side to Banks who set up senior Kim Bonilla. Banks' well played touch left Bonilla a clear path to the goal in the match's 50th minute.

JMU's final goal came in the 66th minute from Jess Remmes. Remmess split two WVU defenders as Beck was left one-on-one as Remmes who made it 4-2.

WVU out-shot JMU 22-10 on the afternoon and Beck totaled four saves for the Mountaineers to earn the win in goal.

The Mountaineers, preseason favorites to win the Big East American Division title, open the season at home on Friday, Aug. 31, against Bowling Green.

The men also got off to a good early start, scoring in the first half to take a 1-0 lead over Kentucky before lightning ended the match just after the second half began.

Senior Dan Stratford scored the lone goal of the match off of a give-and-go from teammate, senior Andy Wright. Stratford fed the ball to Wright who made a run up the right sideline. Wright found Stratford inside the box who netted a hard left shot.

WVU dominated the first half hitting four shots on goal and five corner kicks in just 45 minutes. UK did not record a shot on goal.

"We have a lot of work to do, but that was an excellent 45 minutes of soccer." commented head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "We recorded four goals in a game and a half. This is a good soccer team."

The Mountaineers will open the 2007 regular season on Aug. 31 against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio where they will participate in the Bert and Iris Wolstein Soccer Classic. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.

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