Lady Toppers fall in double overtime on the road

Tyler Mansfield

After holding a 2-0 lead all throughout the first half thanks to two goals by senior forward Iris Dunn, WKU fell short 3-2 in double overtime to the University of Miami at Ohio on Friday afternoon in Oxford, Ohio.

“I think we’re itching to get back out onto the field,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said as he previewed the meeting with the RedHawks on Wednesday. “I think anytime that you lose a game, you’re excited and ready for the next one to learn from the mistakes that you’ve made and be able to execute them in the game ahead.”

The Lady Toppers’ premier scoring threat, Dunn, was able to find the back of the net in both the seventh and 33rd minutes and the Lady Toppers (1-2) outshot Miami (Ohio) 20-10 and had a 10-6 advantage in shots on goal.


However, the RedHawks’ (1-2) talented goalkeepers in senior Vic Maniaci and sophomore Patricia Koutoulas combined for eight saves to keep WKU from scoring more than twice on the day.

“I mean, that is nice to know, but for us, we can’t really look too much into that,” freshman forward Chandler Backes stated in regards to Miami being winless entering Friday’s match. “We just have to play our game like we normally do and work hard.”

WKU got going early with Dunn’s strike in the seventh minute.

Set up down the left side after getting passes from senior midfielder Caitlin Hesse and redshirt sophomore midfielder Sarah Gorham, Dunn found an opening at the top corner of the far post and was able to sink her shot.

Later in the first half, Dunn was able to score again to double the Lady Toppers’ lead. After a throw-in from freshman defender Aleksandra Kozovic, Dunn gathered the ball and beat out the experienced keeper, Maniaci, to tally her second goal of the season.

As it looked like the Lady Toppers were close to getting what Neidell calls “revenge,” an unexpected blow came as Miami would score twice in the second period alone before the assuming extra minutes.

“Most importantly, Miami of Ohio came in here [the WKU Soccer Complex] last year and beat us up pretty good, so I think there’s definitely a bit of a revenge factor and our kids have a sense of wanting to go up there [Oxford] to redeem themselves,” Neidell said.

At the 85:26 mark of the affair, the home club was able to tie things up at 2-2 after junior defender Jenny Barr’s shot from just outside the box found the back of the net after a pass from junior forward Kat Zalar.

“They’re a very good team,” Neidell said on behalf of the RedHawks. “They’re very well organized. They capitalize.”

As regulation came to a close with the match tied, both squads would be looking to capitalize in what would be a two-overtime affair.

On the offensive side, Hesse and sophomore midfielder Megan Morris would both try shots, but they would both be deflected by Miami (Ohio) defenders, pushing the affair into a second overtime.

In the 107th minute, RedHawk freshman forward Sam Worthman tried a shot on the Lady Toppers’ freshman goalkeeper Jenna Rohlin and the attempt from the sharp angle deflected the ball, but freshman midfielder Olivia Winnett was there to take the ball and fire a shot that found the back of the net and gave Miami the 3-2 lead and win over WKU.

WKU has a whole week off from matches before welcoming Austin Peay State University into Bowling Green for its home opener on Friday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.

The Lady Toppers have never dropped a game to the Governors, holding a 6-0-1 record in the all-time series. In the most recent encounter back on Sept. 5, 2013, at the WKU Soccer Complex, the two sides drew a 1-1 decision.

“It’s great [to get a week off from games],” Neidell said. “The kids, at this point, probably need the chance to get away from soccer and each other – maybe get away from coach for a little bit. But it’s definitely a chance to decompress.”

Reporter Tyler Mansfield can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMansfield.