Mentality key to success in Georgia road swing

WKU’s forward Lauren Moats (5) brings the ball down the field while evading University of Tennessee-Martin’s Zara Musker (5) during the Lady Topper’s 3-1 win over UTM in the season opener Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at the WKU Soccer Complex in Bowling Green, Ky.

Hunter Frint

After a long game against Valparaiso resulted in a 2-2 tie this past Sunday, the Lady Topper soccer team will travel to Georgia to play Mercer and Georgia State this weekend.

The match against Mercer will take place in Macon, Georgia, on Friday, marking the second meeting of the two teams in program history.  

The Bears traveled to Bowling Green last year, the first season the Lady Toppers were members of the C-USA. WKU won 1-0.

“Mercer is another team that’s won the Southern Conference last year and went to the NCAA Tournament,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said. “They’re definitely a quality squad, and they’ve got good athletes.”

While Neidell recognizes his squad has potential, he noted the challenges Mercer will pose. 

“They’ve got speed. They’ve got technical players,” Neidell said. “We’re just going to be in for another great match.”

The Lady Toppers will then head to Atlanta to face the Panthers of Georgia State on Sunday. 

Georgia State is undefeated so far in 2015. 

The Panthers recently played a game against Tennessee Tech that ended with almost identical results as the WKU v. Valpo match: double overtime and an ending in draw.

“They’re undefeated, so that presents a challenge in and of itself. They’re a team that keeps finding ways to win soccer games,” Neidell said. 

Neidell believes the key to victory in Atlanta is mentality. 

“I think we want to continue to develop that play to win mentality,” Neidell said. “I think that’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

The Lady Toppers have faced several formidable opponents this season, and this weekend will be no different. From conference winners and league champions to undefeated teams, WKU has had to fight for the wins and accomplishments it has earned so far.

“We’ve built a schedule that is really almost a hellacious schedule,” Neidell said. “We’ve got to learn to compete day in and day out to prepare ourselves for conference.”