WVU Varsity Sports Report

With soccer season heading into crunch time, the West Virginia women's team was lifted by the performance of sophomore Carolyn Blank.

Sophomore women's soccer player Carolyn Blank has been named West Virginia University's athlete of the week for her play over the weekend.

The Toms River, N.J., native scored the game-winner in WVU's quarterfinal win of the 2007 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship.

Blanks header in the 64th minute was the difference as WVU beat Villanova 1-0 Sunday afternoon.

The goal was the third of the season for Blank who also dominated the midfield, winning every head ball.

In other soccer news, sophomore Jason Bristol was named BIG EAST Defender of the Week, while senior Andy Wright was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. Freshman goalkeeper Zach Johnson was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

Bristol led a backline that limited West Virginia's opponents to just12 shots and no goals in two games this past week. He also scored the second goal of his career and of the season in West Virginia's 3-0 win over Providence on Nov. 3. He scored on a diving header in the 61st minute of the game. The Franklin, Tenn. native also added an assist on the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at Lafayette.

The honor marks the seventh time this season that a Mountaineer has been chosen BIG EAST Player of the Week, and the third consecutive week the WVU defense was honored. Last week, Andrew Halsell was named Defender of the Week. The previous week, Bristol was honored for his goal over then-No. 1 Connecticut; his first honor of his career.

Wright was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll after scoring one goal and recording two assists on the week. Wright leads WVU with 16 points on the season in 17 games. The midfielder's goal against PC was his fifth goal of the season.

After shutting out Lafayette, Johnson earned his 11th shutout of the season against Providence. The shutout tied him with Nick Noble for second place in the WVU record book in single season shutouts and earned him a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

This Week in Women's Soccer

The Mountaineers will face Louisville, a 1-0 quarterfinal winner over Marquette, in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. … the other semifinal match will feature Notre Dame and Georgetown with a 5 p.m. start time. … both matches will be televised live on CSTV … all semifinal and final games will be played at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, home of the 2007 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championships.

Last Week in Women's Soccer

Sophomore midfielder Carolyn Blank's header in the 64th minute was the difference as West Virginia downed Villanova 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium … West Virginia (14-4-1) earned a free kick from 22 yards out when junior forward Deana Everrett was tripped from behind … junior midfielder Amanda Cicchini served the direct kick to Blank who headed the ball inside the far post for the game-winner … West Virginia's goal at the 63:43 mark was the first allowed by the Wildcats (11-4-6) since Oct. 21 when WVU's Kim Bonilla netted the game-winner in a 1-0 win at Villanova … WVU's defense pitched its ninth shutout of the year, holding Villanova to six shots on the afternoon … West Virginia's back line – Greer Barnes, Krystle Kallman, Natalie Cocchi and Robin Rushton – allowed just two shots on goal and three corner kicks … junior midfielder Lisa DuCote tied a season-high with four shot attempts to aid the offensive attack … the Mountaineers are now 7-7-2 all-time in BIG EAST tournament games, dating back to 1998.

Notes & Quotes

West Virginia is 9-1-0 this season at home … 28 of WVU's 39 goals this season have come in the second half … the Mountaineers have won five straight matches and eight of their last nine.

This Week in Cross Country

West Virginia will run at the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Regional on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Bethlehem, Pa. ... the squad won the school's only regional title in 2004.

Last Week in Cross Country

WVU was idle last week after winning the program's first ever BIG EAST Championship on Oct. 27 ... since 2000, West Virginia had never finished higher than fifth at the conference meet and just two years ago placed 12th in 2005.

Notes & Quotes

A finish in the top two spots would qualify WVU to nationals for the first time since 2004 ... the 2004 team that won the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship placed fifth at BIG EAST ... the 2004 race was on the campus of Penn State ... that team had three finishers in the top 10 ... Head Coach Sean Cleary was named the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year by a vote of 31 regional coaches in 2004 ... WVU's other two national qualifying teams were in 1997 and 2000 ... at 2004 nationals, senior Megan Metcalfe placed 16th to earn All-America honors ... it was the second time she earned All-America honors (2002) ... Charity Wachera is the school's only other cross country All-American (1997) ... WVU's 15th place in 2004 finish was its best finish in school history.

This Week in Men's Soccer

WVU will host the first round of the BIG EAST tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 7, when the Mountaineers play host to Villanova. The winner of Wednesday's match will advance to the quarterfinals to face Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Louisville, Ky.

Last Week in Men's Soccer

The Mountaineers went 2-0 last week downing Lafayette 1-0 before defeating Providence 3-0 in the squad's final regular season home match … senior Andrew Wright scored one goal and had two assists on the week ... he now leads WVU with 16 points in 17 matches played … Wright scored his fifth goal of the season against PC on senior night … Jason Bristol, a sophomore walk-on, scored his second goal of his career and of the season against PC … he assisted Reed Cooper on the game-winning goal against Lafayette and earned three points on the week … Dan Stratford continued his record-setting ways with two assists against PC … the midfielder is WVU's all-time career assist leader with 26, 10 more than the previous record set back in 1968 … the WVU defense allowed just 12 shots in two matches ... freshman goalkeeper Zach Johnson earned his 11th shutout tying him with Nick Noble for second place in the record book in single season shutouts … with the win on Nov. 3, WVU captured third place in the Blue Division.

Notes & Quotes

"It doesn't matter who we play in the tournament. We are focused on winning. I think our team is peaking at the right time." – Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc on the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament.

This Week in Swimming & Diving

The West Virginia University men's and women's swimming and diving teams will continue home play this weekend as they welcome BIG EAST foe Louisville to the WVU Coliseum on Saturday, Nov. 10 … meet time is set for 1 p.m. Last Week in Swimming & Diving The Mountaineer men's swimming and diving teams went 1-0 last weekend after defeating BIG EAST opponent Cincinnati 134-86 at the WVU Natatorium … the women's team was 2-0 this weekend with wins over Cincinnati and in-state rival Marshall … on Friday, Nov. 2, the women's team defeated the Bearcats 122-104 … then on Saturday, Nov. 3, the Mountaineers slipped past Marshall 171-124.

Notes & Quotes

The Mountaineers set four official Natatorium records in the meet against Cincinnati on Friday … junior Michael Walker had a stand-out showing breaking records in the 100 back and 400 IM events … Walker took first in the 100 back with a time of 51.25 beating the previous record of 51.87, while posting a time of 3:57.05 in the 400 IM, smashing the previous record of 3:59.37 … junior Lindsey Largo also had an outstanding performance in the 1650 freestyle breaking the prior record of 17:02.76 with a time of 17:00.73 … sophomore Kayla Andrews continued her success taking first in the 100 free with a time of 51.11, breaking the natatorium record of 51.46 that was set in 1984 ... on Saturday, the Mountaineer women's team took 11 out of the 16 events to defeat Marshall … Andrews had an outstanding performance taking first in the 200 and 100 freestyle events with times of 1:55.41 and 50.67 … Andrews also contributed on the first place 200 medley relay, along with teammates Taylor Stallings, Isabel Perez and Elise Fisher that finished with a time of 1:46 … Stallings also had a stellar performance finishing first in the 100 and 200 butterfly events with times of 57.33 and 2:07.21.

This Week in Volleyball

The West Virginia University volleyball team will close out the 2007 regular season this weekend at the WVU Coliseum ... starting on Wednesday, Nov. 7, the Mountaineers will host St. Francis, Pa., in a 7 p.m. match ... on Saturday, Nov. 10, the Mountaineers will return to BIG EAST action with Rutgers at 2 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum ... the Mountaineers will then end the 2007 season with a home match with Duquesne at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Last Week in Volleyball

The Mountaineers went 0-2 this past weekend with losses to No. 22 Louisville and Cincinnati ... on Saturday Nov. 3, the Mountaineers fell to the Cardinals in a 3-0 match (20-30, 28-30, 21-30) ... then on Sunday, Nov. 4, the Mountaineers lost to Cincinnati 3-0 (22-30, 15-30, 20-30).

Notes & Quotes

Senior setter Kailee Goold led the Mountaineers this past weekend posting 60 assists and 16 digs … Goold now has 3,188 career assists and is in third place on WVU's all-time assists list ... libero Bonnie West continued her freshman success as she posted 36 digs on the weekend, giving her 465 in her first season at WVU … West is currently ranked in fourth place on WVU's digs per season record list, with three games still on the schedule … junior Tammy Wolf posted 19 kills over the weekend while maintaining a .289 hitting percentage … Wolf currently has the highest hitting percentage on the team with an average of .362.

This Week in Wrestling

The West Virginia University wrestling team is idle this week after the cancellation of the WVU Open.

Wrestling Outlook

Poised for a breakout year, WVU returns all seven of its NCAA qualifiers as well as all 10 starters to a squad full of proven wrestlers … the Mountaineers are led by two-time All-American Brandon Rader, who is only the sixth WVU wrestler to achieve All-America status multiple times … also returning to the lineup is senior Jared Villers, who went 25-5 last season on his way to a second consecutive EWL title … the Mountaineers will need a collective effort from this year's squad in order to compete in the EWL, with Edinboro finishing the 2006-07 season ranked No. 9, and Pitt breaking through with a No. 20 ranking to help solidify the league's quality competition … the Mountaineers figure to gain some national recognition, being invited once again to the Las Vegas Invitational and the National Duals Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Notes & Quotes

With an experienced wrestling squad full of talent and depth, Head Coach Craig Turnbull is optimistic about his team's chances for success this season.

"This team has the potential to be a nationally competitive team. They possess good experience, talent and a strong work ethic, and those are important for achieving goals. Those ingredients give them the potential to compete at the highest level," – Head Coach Craig Turnbull

This Week in Women's Basketball

No. 18/22 WVU opens the 2007-08 against Canisius on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.

Season Outlook

WVU returns all five starters for the second consecutive season and has earned its first ranking in the Top 25 since 1992 ... coach Mike Carey enters his seventh season and is the fastest coach in WVU women's history to amass 100 victories ... senior center Olayinka Sanni returns in the middle and was a 2006-07 all-BIG EAST First Team selection ... Sanni is just the second Mountaineer ever named to the all-BIG EAST first team (Meg Bulger) ... forward Chakhia Cole returns and is coming off a 2006-07 all-BIG EAST Honorable Mention season ... guard LaQuita Owens comes back after being named to the 2006-07 all-BIG EAST Second Team ... Bulger returns as well and is a two-time Honorable Mention All-American ... WVU has a combined 364 career starts returning, which is tops in the nation.

This Week in Rifle

The rifle team will play host to Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Last Week in Rifle

The rifle team was idle this past week ... the squad is 3-1 on the season.

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