WKU dropped a 4-0 decision in its 2017 exhibition opener at Saint Louis on Friday evening as the Billikens scored two goals in each half at Hermann Stadium.
A total of 20 different Lady Toppers saw at least 14 minutes of action in Friday’s match, including five freshmen who were making their debut for the squad. Victoria Mayo and Ashley Leonard each drew the start in their first collegiate match, while Deven Jackson, Avery Jacobsen and Tally Bishop came in as reserves off the bench for WKU.
Senior goalkeeper Allison Leone played just over 76 minutes before being relieved between the posts by Keely Vincent for the final 14 minutes of action. Leone totaled six saves on the night, while Saint Louis goalkeeper Mary Niehaus held the Lady Toppers scoreless in her 79 minutes in net.
Six different Lady Toppers registered a shot, and sophomore Chandler Backes put an attempt on frame for WKU in the 46th minute just after the halftime break.
WKU weathered an early offensive push from the Billikens over the first 20 minutes. Saint Louis notched the first four shots of the game, including two attempts in the 14th minute that nearly found the back of the net. Leone made the save on Megan Nixon’s first chance, while a Lady Topper defender knocked away Maddie Pokorny’s follow-up off the rebound.
The Billikens carried a 2-0 lead into the halftime break on the strength of two goals in the 22nd and 29th minutes. Evie Lavelle tallied the first for Saint Louis, while Alyssa Seitzer found the back of the net just seven minutes later.
Backes came out of the halftime break firing for the Lady Toppers, nearly pulling a goal back just a few seconds into the second half. An Andrea Larsen corner kick one minute later gave WKU another chance, but the Lady Toppers could not convert the set piece into a goal.
An unassisted strike by Lindsay Sands in the 50th minute and a final goal from Olivia Petit at the 67:15 mark reached the final 4-0 scoreline for the match.
WKU will return to action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. as the Lady Toppers close out their exhibition slate with a trip to Murray State. The two sides have met five times during the regular season in program history with WKU holding a 4-1 edge, including a 4-0 victory in the most recent meeting on Sept. 12, 2008.
Following this weekend’s exhibitions, WKU will open the regular season with road trips to Lipscomb (Friday, Aug. 18) and Texas (Sunday, Aug. 20) during its opening weekend of play. The Lady Toppers’ first home match is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, against UT Martin, and WKU will offer free admission to all fans for each of the team’s nine home matches this season.
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Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Media Relations