WKU Soccer Head Coach Jason Neidell has announced the team’s 2018 fall schedule that includes eight regular season home matches at the WKU Soccer Complex and marquee non-conference road matches at SEC foes Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
WKU’s 2018 slate will open with a trio of exhibition matches as the Lady Toppers first travel to Austin Peay on Aug. 4 before returning home against Saint Louis (Aug. 10) and Belmont (Aug. 12) to close out the preseason. The exhibitions against Saint Louis and Belmont will be the first exhibitions played at the WKU Soccer Complex since a bout against Northern Kentucky on Aug. 12, 2016.
The Lady Toppers kick off the regular season with three straight road matches, including the regular season opener at Murray State on Aug. 17 in the first meeting between the two sides since 2008. Following the tilt against the Racers, WKU will head south to Ole Miss on Aug. 19, marking the 11th consecutive season that the Lady Toppers have faced at least one SEC opponent. WKU will then round out the season-opening road trip at Evansville on Aug. 23, looking to maintain its streak of seven unbeaten matches against the Purple Aces.
In the regular season home opener on Aug. 26, WKU will square off against Miami (Ohio) as it seeks to improve on its already stellar 14-3 record in home openers at the WKU Soccer Complex. The Lady Toppers will remain at home for the next week after that opening match as they also battle Lipscomb (Aug. 31) and Kentucky Christian (Sept. 3) to close the three-match homestand.
A road tilt at Vanderbilt on Sept. 6 marks the end of non-conference play for the Lady Toppers as WKU seeks its first win in the series against the Commodores. Last year, WKU battled tightly down the stretch on its home field but ultimately dropped a hotly-contested 1-0 decision to Vanderbilt.
WKU enters its fifth season in C-USA play with four straight matches on the road against conference opponents. In the first two matches, the Lady Toppers will make the Gulf Coast swing at Southern Miss (Sept. 16) and Louisiana Tech (Sept. 23) before trekking to the East Coast for bouts at Charlotte (Sept. 28) and Old Dominion (Sept. 30). WKU will be facing Louisiana Tech for the first time since the 2015 season, and its matchup at Charlotte will be the first against the 49ers since falling in penalty kicks during the C-USA quarterfinals two years ago.
Over the final month of the regular season, WKU will play five of its six matches at the friendly confines of the WKU Soccer Complex. The Lady Toppers are set to meet FIU (Oct. 5) and UTEP (Oct. 7) on the first weekend of October before a pair of matches against perennial C-USA championship contenders North Texas (Oct. 12) and Rice (Oct. 14) the following weekend. Both the Mean Green and the Owls reached the 2017 NCAA Tournament after splitting the C-USA regular season (Rice) and tournament (North Texas) championships.
WKU will hit the road for its final regular season match away from home on Oct. 19, taking on UAB in Birmingham, Ala., as the Lady Toppers seek to avenge a 2-0 setback against the Blazers last season. For the second straight season, the Lady Toppers will host Marshall for Senior Night on Oct. 26 to close out the regular season.
The 2018 C-USA Tournament will be hosted at Old Dominion from Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at the ODU Soccer Complex with the top eight teams in the regular season standings qualifying for the conference tournament. In three of its four seasons as a member of the league, WKU has fallen in the C-USA Tournament to the eventual champion.
WKU returns its leading scorer from a year ago in Chandler Backes (15 points) and also brings back a talented young core of players including All-Freshman Team member Tally Bishop, Ashley Leonard and Deven Jackson. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lady Toppers will look to replace four-year starting goalkeeper Allison Leone, but have two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Week Christina Bragado manning the center of the back line and All-C-USA pick Nicole Roseland as a steady force as a defensive midfielder.
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Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
Women’s Basketball | Women’s Soccer