Lady Toppers to host Bellarmine for home opener

WKU junior (21) Chelsea Moore defending the ball against North Alabama freshman Alice Bussey on Feb. 6, 2021. The Lady Toppers fell 4-1 to the Lions in the 2021 season opener.

Sean Snyder

WKU Soccer (0-1) officially began its season over the weekend with a devastating blow from North Alabama (1-0) Saturday evening where the Lady Toppers found themselves as the Lions’ prey, losing 4-1.

WKU’s lone goal came from freshman defender Ellie Belcher on a corner kick following an out-of-bounds shot from North Alabama with the assist from fellow freshman midfielder Brina Micheels.

The Lions managed to narrowly outshoot the Lady Toppers, 8-7. Freshman midfielder Annah Hopkins had two shots in the match, putting one on the Lions goalkeeper. Senior defender Avery Jacobsen, freshman defender Taylor Swartz, junior forward Kerragan Mulzer, and Micheels each managed to record a shot in the match as well.

The Lady Toppers maintained consistent footwork on offense and defense. By the end of the match, the Lion’s played out the clock leading to the demise of the Lady Topper’s season opener.

Although off to a rocky start, the team has no plans of slowing down with a Thursday game against Bellarmine (0-1) at home with a 5 p.m. kickoff. Bellarmine, who’s no stranger to a draw, is coming off a spectacular 2019 season where they managed to go 12-5-3 over all and 8-4-3 in their conference.

This will not only be the first home game of the season for WKU but the first home game in 493 days following the cancelation of their 2020 spring season.

The two teams sparred late last month as the unofficial opener to WKU’s season. The Lady Topper’s managed to prove defense can sometimes be the best offense with the match coming to a final draw 0-0 by the end.

This will be the second time in WKU’s history going up against Bellarmine and their first official match against each other with the previous being an exhibition game.

The previous matchup was played in three 30-minute increments where the Lady Toppers outshot the Knights 6-4. Two shots came from freshman Brina Micheels with the final shot by senior Sophia Fondren rounding up the last 30 seconds.

Bellarmine is coming off a Feb. 6 loss against Dayton University (1-0) where they lost 2-0. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime, but Dayton scored a pair of second-half goals against Bellarmine securing their first win.

Bellarmine finished with a slight 11-10 advantage in shots against Dayton. By the second half, the Knights were no match for Dayton with their season opener ending in a loss.

WKU will be back on the Hill for two more consecutive home games against Lipscomb (0-1) and Xavier (0-1). The Lady Topper’s highly anticipated home opener against Lipscomb will act as an official rematch following WKU’s 1-0 exhibition victory against the Bison on Feb. 2.

Soccer beat reporter Sean Snyder can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @seanwsnyder