WKU soccer unofficially begins season with a draw against Bellarmine

WKU freshman Brina Micheels running on the field during her first season on the Hill. 

Sean Snyder

WKU Women’s Soccer proved defense can be the best offense Saturday with their 2021 season unofficially beginning with a 0-0 draw against Bellarmine.

The exhibition match 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.

This matchup is junior Lyric Schmidt and senior Avery Jacobsen’s first match since being moved to centerback to make up the spine of the backline following the departure of 2019’s seniors Kaylyn Bryant and Christina Bragado.

Each of the Lady Toppers three goalkeepers got to feel the terfincluding the newest addition freshman Shelby Helton. 

“We knew that this was a player that we needed to have on our team,” head coach Jason Neidel said speaking about Shelby Helton during a press conference Thursday. “She is an awesome kid and we needed an insurance plan for peace of mind in case the pandemic takes out one of our goalkeepers.”

This is a historic match for the Lady Toppers with this being their first match against the Knights in WKU Soccer’s 20 year history. The Knights are no stranger to ties ending their 2019 season 12-5-3 overall.

The Lady Toppers haven’t played an official game since Nov. 6, 2019, in the Conference USA Championship quarterfinals against Charlotte, but played an exhibition and a 7v7 tournament since that last match.

The Lady Toppers play their next exhibition on Feb. 2 against Lipscomb and begin their official season beginning at North Alabama on Feb. 6. 

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