Pair of shutouts end losing streak for WKU

Casey Mccarthy

The Lady Toppers put their scoring drought to bed quickly on Oct. 13 against Florida Atlantic in Bowling Green as freshman Tally Bishop’s goal in the ninth minute gave WKU its first conference win of the season.

WKU (5-8-1, 2-4-1) picked up a pair of wins on the weekend, beating FIU 2-0 on Sunday, Oct.15 as well. Sophomore forward Chandler Backes scored the opening goal for the Lady Toppers in the 15th minute off an assist from junior Sarah Gorham, moving her into a tie for tenth place on the all-time goalscoring list at WKU. Bishop scored the second goal for WKU ten minutes later off an assist from senior Hannah Chua, giving her three on the season, second amongst Lady Toppers.

Backes leads WKU in scoring this season, securing her fifth goal on the year Sunday afternoon. Chua, picking up a pair of assists over the weekend, now has three for the year to lead the Lady Toppers. Scoring in the ninth minute Friday night against the Owls ended the 689-minute scoreless stretch the team had been enduring, ending a three-match losing streak as well.

WKU again was able to lead both matches in shots, holding a 12-9 (5-1 on goal) advantage against the Owls on Friday, and a 12-6 (5-3 on goal) advantage against FIU Sunday. The Lady Toppers defense has begun a scoreless streak of their own, not relenting a goal since Oct. 6 against Middle Tennessee, which includes 252 minutes of action.

Sophomore Christina Bragado has been at the center of the WKU defense all season and was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Bragado has started every match for the Lady Toppers this season and has played the second most minutes of any player on the team.

Bragado held the Owls and Panthers to a combined four shots on goal over 180 minutes of action last weekend. WKU has allowed only 12 goals in 13 matches this season, second fewest of C-USA members to North Texas (9).

Senior goalkeeper Allison Leone was named C-USA Goalkeeper of the Week for the second time this season as well. The award gives Leone the most weekly awards of any player in program history, with four weekly honors in her career. Leone captured her fourth and fifth solo shutouts of the season, respectively, tying her for second amongst C-USA goalkeepers.

With just three matches left on the schedule, WKU is only three points off making the conference championship. The top eight teams make the postseason tournament in C-USA, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Championship. Florida Atlantic, the tournament’s host this year, and Marshall sit just ahead of the Lady Toppers as they look to begin a new streak closing out the season.

WKU will return to action as the Lady Toppers travel to face Texas-San Antonio on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. WKU leads the all-time series 3-0, winning 2-0 last season in Bowling Green.

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