Lady Toppers trying to find back of the net

Redshirt junior Sarah Gorham jumps to head the ball during the game against Vanderbilt Sept. 8 at the WKU Soccer Complex. In their upcoming game Friday, the Lady Toppers are looking to score their first goal since Sept. 3.

Casey Mccarthy

The Lady Topper soccer team is still looking to end its scoreless stretch as it heads into a pair of matches at home this weekend. WKU (3-8-1, 0-4-1) will host Florida Atlantic on Friday at 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex before facing Florida International on Sunday at 1 p.m.

WKU has gone 680 minutes of game time without scoring, with seven consecutive matches played without a goal. Their last goal came Sept. 3 against Evansville, when junior Megan Morris found the back of the net in the 75th minute.

WKU last played Friday night, Oct.6 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, against Middle Tennessee State, losing 1-0. The Lady Toppers outshot the Blue Raiders 17-7 (8-3 on goal) in the match but were unable to match Peyton Depriest’s goal in the 16th minute.

The Lady Toppers were able to apply plenty of pressure to the MTSU defense but failed to convert any of their opportunities.

The team was scheduled to play Alabama-Birmingham on Sunday, Oct. 8, but the match was canceled due to inclement weather from Hurricane Nate. The match was initially pushed up from 1 p.m to 11 a.m. to avoid the weather but was still unable to be played.

WKU has five games left on its schedule this season and will look to secure its first conference win this weekend. The Lady Toppers will look to build momentum Friday against FAU as they approach the final stretch of the season.

FAU (7-6-2, 2-3-1) is coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at the hands of Charlotte on Sunday, Oct. 8, a match the Owls led 2-0 in the second half.

Pernille Velta, a sophomore forward from Norway, leads the Owls this season with 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists). Ebba Blomqvist, a junior defender from Sweden, leads the Owls in scoring with four goals this season so far.

Blomqvist was named Sun Conference Player of the Year in 2017, while playing for Keiser University, and led the team to two consecutive titles. WKU last played FAU Oct. 14, 2016, in Boca Raton, Fla. The Lady Toppers lost the match 1-0.

WKU will close the weekend stretch against Florida International on Sunday. FIU (1-9-0, 0-5-0) has also struggled this season, with only three goals this season.

The Panthers’ lone win came on an own goal against Jacksonville on Sept. 3, winning 1-0. The team last played on Sunday, Oct. 8, losing 2-0 against Old Dominion.

Senior forward, Courtney Phillips leads the Panthers with two points (1 goal) on the season. Phillips leads FIU this season in shots with 18 on the year.

WKU has three players with over 18 shots on the season, with Sarah Gorham leading the team with 25, Chandler Backes with 24, and Hannah Chua with 19.

The Lady Toppers defeated the Panthers in its last matchup on Oct. 16, 2016, in Miami, Florida, winning 1-0.

Reporter Casey McCarthy can be reached at (270)-929-7795 and [email protected].