Bristol has inserted into the lineup by head coach Marlon LeBlanc prior to the match because of his 6-4 height to counter the tall Huskies' forwards. It was one of several moves, including a switch at forward and midfield, that paid dividends as the Mountaineers controlled most of the tempo in the very physical match which produced two yellow cards. UConn out shot WVU 15-10, but WVU held an 8-5 corner kick advantage. Freshman goalkeeper Zach Johnson made four saves and earned his eighth shutout in nine matches.
Just seven minutes into the second half, senior captain Dan Stratford struck a perfect arching ball off of a set-piece in between the Huskies' posts. Bristol used his height and headed the ball, a line drive, past UConn's goalie. The goal is the first of his career. Connecticut nearly answered less than two minutes later when a shot hit off the crossbar, bouncing into the box before being cleared. It was the best chance of the day for the top-ranked squad, which began to push numbers up in play within the final 10 minutes to garner more chances. West Virginia turned every one away, then took possession for nearly the entire final two minutes to run out the clock in its biggest win, ranking wise, in home history.
WVU is now 3-1 against Top 10 teams it has faced this season. The Mountaineers defeated then-No. 6 Maryland on Sept. 7, and then-No. 5 Duke on Sept. 15, both on the road, before tonight's win over the No. 1 Huskies. The Mountaineers lone loss came against then-No. 3 Notre Dame, 1-0, on Oct. 6. The win could boost WVU, previously losers of three of five, in the polls.
Also, senior forward Ashley Banks recorded the ninth hat trick in school history to lead the No. 25 West Virginia University women's soccer team to a 5-3 comeback win at Georgetown's North Kehoe Field on Friday afternoon. The Hoyas took a 3-1 lead in the match's 59th minute, before WVU rattled off four unanswered goals in the final 16 minutes to seal its 10th win of the season (10-4-1) and sixth in Big East (6-1-1) play.
"I'm proud of the way our ladies responded in the second half," head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. "We sorted some things out at halftime, and I challenged them. They knew what was at stake and proved they wanted to win in those final 45 minutes."
WVU narrowed the deficit to 3-2 on Krystle Kallman's first goal of the season in the 74th minute. The junior defender headed in a Banks corner kick for her sixth career goal. Three minutes later, junior forward Deana Everrett took a breakaway towards the goal when Georgetown goalkeeper Jackie Desjardin clipped Everrett's legs out from under her. Desjardin was issued a red card, forcing the Hoyas to make a keeper change and play one person down. The Mountaineers would capitalize as senior forward Kim Bonilla knotted the score at 3-3 in the 81st minute on her fourth goal of the season. Bonilla buried a ball in the back of the net on a perfectly served ball from junior midfielder Amanda Cicchini.
Banks' second goal of the match put the Mountaineers up 4-3 with six minutes remaining in the contest. The Annandale, Va., native beat two defenders and fired a ball towards the low far post for the game-winner. Banks added an insurance goal, her third of the match, in the 87th minute. Her first goal came in the 27th minute that put West Virginia up 1-0. She now has registered a team-best 11 goals on the season, giving her 30 for her career.
"It was a great performance by Ashley today," added Izzo-Brown. "She plays so hard and every member of this team stepped up their play in the second half to pull out this road win."
Banks' hat trick is the first since 2006 when teammate Deana Everrett scored three goals against DePaul on Oct. 1, 2006. The hat trick is also the second of Banks' career, adding to her three-goal effort against Ohio on Aug. 29, 2004.
Georgetown tied the match at 1-1 in the 33rd minute on the first of two Elaina Filauro goals. Filauro's cross faded towards the far post, where WVU goalkeeper Kerri Butler got a hand on the ball before it ricocheted off the left post and into the net.The Hoyas pushed their lead to 2-1 just before the half, when Filauro netted her second goal at the 44:04 mark. Filauro received a cross and flicked of the ball to set up her goal from 15-yards out. A successful penalty kick from Ingrid Wells gave Georgetown a 3-1 lead in the 59th minute.
Butler's start in goal was the first of her West Virginia career and the true freshman played much better than the score indicated. She picked up one save in 90 minutes to earn her first collegiate win. WVU outshot Georgetown, 18-8, and each team took five corner kicks. The Hoyas were issued two yellow cards and one red card. The loss drops Georgetown's overall record o 10-5-0 overall and 3-4-0 in conference play. The Mountaineers make their final road trip of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 21, for a 1 p.m., match at Villanova.