Successful Start

The 10th-ranked West Virginia University women's soccer team blanked Towson, 3-0, Friday night in season-opening action at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The win pushed the Mountaineers to 4-0 all-time when starting the season at home.

"The first 10 minutes set the tone for us tonight," Head Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. "We were able to put a lot of pressure on them and it showed that we were ready to play."

West Virginia took a 2-0 first half lead on goals from junior midfielder Carolyn Blank and sophomore forward Megan Mischler.

At the 11:27 mark, senior Lisa DuCote served a cornerkick inside the box where Blank headed in the goal from six-yards out.

In the 27th minute, Mischler used her speed to blow by a Towson defender on a pass from freshman Morgan Betscher. Mischler took two dribbles and fired a shot on the ground, just inside the far post for the 2-0 lead.

"Megan scored at a critical time on a fantastic goal. Really, all three goals were fantastic," Izzo-Brown said. "She used her speed well and put a ball where few goalkeepers could stop it."

The Mountaineers continued to attack and added to their lead in the 62nd minute on a goal from freshman Chelsey Corroto. A Blank shot attempted was deflected back into play where Corroto one-timed the ball into the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.

West Virginia dominated play, taking 14 shots and holding the Tigers to one.

Senior Robin Rushton anchored a solid back line as WVU picked up its first shutout of the year.

"Carolyn and Robin both played well tonight and showed a lot of leadership for us," Izzo-Brown added. "Overall, each player stepped it up and stuck to the role that we laid out for them. It's nice to start the season off with a good win."

The Mountaineers return to action next weekend to participate in the Notre Dame Inn at St. Mary's Classic. WVU will face 12th-ranked Santa Clara on Friday, Aug. 29, and Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Aug. 31.

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In other news, West Virginia seniors Greer Barnes and Amanda Cicchini were named 2008 Preseason All-America selections by Soccer America.

Barnes and Cicchini are two of 22 players named to the preseason listing. Cicchini was tabbed a First Team midfielder while Barnes was named a Second Team defender. West Virginia is one of five schools to have two or more selections.

Barnes, a 2007 Second Team All-American by the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz, is in her final season with the Mountaineers. The Rye, N.Y., native started all 25 games at outside defender in 2007 as WVU's defense tied a school record with 13 shutouts. Barnes also became the first defender in school history to earn First Team All-Big East honors.

Cicchini is no stranger to Soccer America honors, having been named a Soccer America First Team MVP last fall. The Oakville, Ontario, native was a Second Team NSCAA All-American as a junior. Cicchini is a three-time All-Big East midfielder.

Earlier this week the duo were named to the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List. Barnes and Cicchini were also named to the Preseason All-Big East team announced last week.


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