After earning 1-1 draws in each of its first two home matches, WKU will look to close out its three-match homestand with a victory over Kentucky Christian on Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex.
The Lady Toppers (1-2-2) have carried a lead heading into the halftime break against both Miami (Ohio) and Lipscomb in its first two home tilts, but have surrendered second-half equalizers and settled for draws in both matches. Ambere Barnett tallied the go-ahead goal against the RedHawks last Sunday, while Olivia Stanley netted her first collegiate goal in the 42nd minute against the Bisons on Friday.
Monday’s battle is WKU’s first against a non-Division I opponent since a 3-2 win over Southern Indiana on Aug. 28, 2009, as Kentucky Christian is an NAIA member out of Grayson, Ky. The Lady Knights will be the second opponent from the state of Kentucky that the Lady Toppers have faced thus far on the season after falling 1-0 against Murray State in the season opener on Aug. 17.
WKU also carries a five-match unbeaten streak at the Soccer Complex dating back to last season entering Monday’s match. The Lady Toppers won their final three home matches in 2017 and have collected draws in their first two bouts in 2018. Should WKU earn a favorable result on Monday, the six-match unbeaten streak would be the program’s longest at home since a six-match stretch that spanned Sept. 15-Oct. 21, 2012, and included five wins and one draw.
Barnett leads the Lady Toppers with three goals across her first five matches on The Hill, and WKU has also gotten goals from Stanley, Sarah Gorham and Aleksandra Kozovic this season. In just her second match back after returning from injury, Victoria Mayo dished out the assist on Stanley’s goal against Lipscomb on Friday, and Barnett, Gorham and Chandler Backes have also recorded an assist apiece for WKU.
With 26 shots against Miami and 21 in Friday’s bout with Lipscomb, WKU has back-to-back matches with 20 or more shots for the first time since Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, 2017, when the Lady Toppers peppered UT Martin (20 shots) and Evansville (23 shots) in consecutive matches. Through five matches, the Lady Toppers are averaging four more shots per match than they did during the 2017 season.
Bailee Witt has come close to claiming the first shutout of her career in each of the last two matches and has lowered her goals against average to 1.49 across 482 minutes of action since taking over as the starter in goal. Witt has made 18 saves, five of which came against Lipscomb in WKU’s last time out, and has allowed more than one goal just one time in 2018.
New WKU goalkeeper Sydney Engle, a former four-year WKU Volleyball standout, is expected to dress for Monday’s match. Should she see action, Engle would become the first WKU student-athlete to play for both the volleyball and women’s soccer teams during her time on The Hill.
Kentucky Christian (0-2) will be playing its third match in four days as it visits the Soccer Complex on Monday evening. The Lady Knights dropped a pair of matches to Oakland City on Friday and Saturday, falling 5-1 in the first before dropping a 2-1 decision in the second. Alexia Sharp tallied the goal for Kentucky Christian in the first match against Oakland City, and goalkeeper Savannah Brewer made seven saves despite surrendering the five goals.
Following Monday’s match, WKU will remain on the road for more than a month, with five straight matches away from home. The Lady Toppers will take on Vanderbilt in their next time out on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. before beginning C-USA play at Southern Miss at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. WKU will be back at the Soccer Complex on Friday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. as the Lady Toppers square off against FIU.
– @WKUSports –
Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
Women’s Basketball | Women’s Soccer