WKU closed its opening homestand of C-USA play on Sunday afternoon at the WKU Soccer Complex, falling in a close 1-0 battle against North Texas.
The Mean Green (7-2-2, 2-0-1 C-USA) scored just before the halftime break off the foot of Taylor Torres, and despite strong offensive pressure throughout much of the second half, WKU (3-7-1, 0-3-1 C-USA) was unable to recover from the one-goal deficit.
Sarah Gorham tied with North Texas’ Berklee Peters to lead all players with three shots and was one of three Lady Toppers to notch a shot on goal, joining Nicole Roseland and Shayna Dheel. The Mean Green held slim advantages in shots (11-9) and corner kick chances (5-4) on the afternoon.
In goal, Allison Leone played the full 90 minutes and surrendered only the goal to Torres, making three saves in the process. The senior from Kennesaw, Ga., has played all but nine minutes between the posts for the Lady Toppers this season.
For North Texas, Natalie McDonough was the only player aside from Peters to notch multiple shots on the afternoon. Brooke Lampe tallied an assist on Torres’ goal to close the scoring for the Mean Green.
Brooke Bradley played the full match minding the net for North Texas, earning the solo shutout with three saves.
Over the first 20 minutes of the match, neither goalkeeper was directly tested despite one shot on both sides. A pair of early North Texas corners did not produce a shot for the Mean Green, but Aaliyah Nolan sent the first chance of the match for either side wide right of the goal in the 13th minute. Megan Morris responded off a WKU corner kick three minutes later; however, her opportunity also sailed just to the right of the net.
Roseland and Gorham peppered Bradley with a pair of shots on goal in the 21st and 23rd minutes, respectively. Roseland’s shot from distance was corralled by the goalkeeper, while Gorham’s try from inside the box was also collected by Bradley to end the Lady Topper attack.
In the 43rd minute, WKU had a pair of corner kick chances from Roseland but could not create a chance out of either opportunity. Just before the half, however, North Texas capitalized on a counter attack to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room. Lampe’s initial header was batted away and back into play by Leone, and Torres was there to collect the rebound and fire a shot low and into the right corner to give the Mean Green a one-goal advantage.
Leone jumped into action after the halftime break, making a pair of big saves to keep the Lady Toppers within striking distance. The first came in the 53rd minute as she controlled a header from North Texas’ McDonough, and the senior goalkeeper again kept WKU within one goal with a strong save on a shot from distance by Peters at the 57:51 mark.
WKU had its best scoring chance of the afternoon in the 65th minute. Deven Jackson’s shot from 30 yards ricocheted off a defender and into the air before falling to the feet of Dheel. Before Dheel could put power behind the shot, Bradley rushed out and saved the chance to maintain the lead for North Texas.
Neither side was able to create a shot on goal over the final 20 minutes of the afternoon as the Mean Green fended off offensive pressure from the Lady Toppers to claim the 1-0 win.
WKU will return to action on Friday evening as the Lady Toppers make the short trip south to battle archrival Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. WKU holds a slim 6-5-6 edge in the all-time series against the Blue Raiders and has won two of the last three matches, including a 1-0 shutout in Bowling Green on Oct. 7, 2016, last season.
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Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
Women’s Basketball | Women’s Soccer