STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Central Michigan scored early and often in the first half, and held strong against a flurry of West Virginia shots in the second half to claim a 2-0 victory at Penn State’s Jeffrey Field Friday evening.
Senior forward Laura Twidle and sophomore forward Morgan Wilcoxon each scored their first goals of the season in the first half, and senior goalkeeper Stefanie Turner made five saves to preserve the win for the Chippewas (2-0-0), the first in program history over the Mountaineers (1-2-0). The Mountaineers received 44 votes in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tires top 25 rankings.
The shutout is the second in two starts for Turner and the Chippewas this season, and is the sixth of her career.
“We’re really pleased with the result,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “We would have liked to have been a little tidier on the ball and controlled more of the game, but, at the end of the day, we had a great victory here, a big confidence boost and smiles on the players’ faces.”
Twidle put the Chippewas on the board early in the game with a goal in the second minute to the upper left corner over the goalkeeper’s head. Senior defender Katie Slaughter recorded her first assist of the season on the goal.
The Mountaineers controlled possession for much of the rest of the first half and nearly broke onto the scoreboard multiple times, with three shots on goal. Just two minutes after Twidle’s goal, West Virginia’s McCarthy fired a shot off the crossbar. Goalkeeper Stefanie Turner made three saves in the first half.
Wilcoxon added to the CMU lead with a goal off a throw-in during the 44th minute of play. The ball bounced around in the penalty area before Wilcoxon was able to find the back of the net.
The Mountaineers attempted a comeback in the second half, firing 11 total shots, two of which were saved by Turner. Slaughter, fellow senior defender Bailey Brandon and the stout CMU defensive line combined to thwart the West Virginia rally.
“In the second half our players settled down a lot more, and we had a lot more structure,” Stafford said. “Our physical fitness was a huge part of this game, and our composure and technical ability really kicked in, and it was nice to see.”
Seven Chippewas combined for seven shots throughout the game, with four in the first and three in the second. Sophomore Laura Gosse also had a shot on goal
West Virginia took 19 shots, five of which were on goal. Forward Kate Schwindel fired a game-high five shots, two of which were on goal.
The win is a flip of the script from 2010, when the Chippewas last played the Mountaineers. The Chippewas also scored early in that game, with a goal assisted by Twidle in the fifth minute, but the 2010 defense could not hold off two late WVU goals in a 2-1 loss.
The Chippewas look to carry their momentum into Sunday’s matchup against No. 6 Penn State at 2:30 p.m., who took on top-ranked defending national champion Stanford immediately following the Chippewas’ match on Friday.