Moats’ game-winner lifts Lady Tops to 1-0 win over Indiana State

Freshman midfielder Hannah Chua battles University of Tennessee’s Brittney Wade (28) for the ball during the first half of WKU’s Sept. 5 match. The Lady Hilltoppers lost 2-0 to the Lady Volunteers. Brandon Carter/HERALD

John Reecer

WKU and Indiana State were scoreless through 68 minutes of Friday’s game in Terre Haute, Indiana. Junior forward Lauren Moats netted the eventual game-winning goal, improving the Lady Toppers to 5-2 on the season.

The goal came on a free kick from 20 yards out that sailed into the right of the goal. Freshman midfielder Hannah Chua faked the free kick and allowed Moats to seal the deal for the Lady Toppers.

“This was a pretty even game,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said. “The environment was very difficult for our team, with the playing surface being very wet turf. We just needed the one goal by Lauren (Moats) to break through for us.” 

Moats’ late-game heroics marked her fourth goal and third game-winning goal on the season. The Lady Toppers used a goal from Moats, in overtime, to solidify a 2-1 win over Sacred Heart in the team’s last outing.

Moats was one of five Lady Toppers to record a minimum of two shot attempts, leading WKU to a narrow 11-10 shot advantage in the match.

The Lady Toppers gained an early advantage with four shots and four corner kicks before Indiana State attempted a score. However, the Lady Sycamores racked up four attempts by halftime and matched WKU’s second-half shot total of six.

“I give a lot of credit to Indiana State,” Neidell said. “They played a really good game. There were different times during the match where they really took control and we just had to absorb the pressure.”

Freshman goalkeeper Allison Leone was instrumental in the Lady Toppers’ win with five saves on the day, most of which came during the Lady Sycamores’ last-ditch efforts at the end of the match. Leone’s shutout marked the fourth of her young career.

“I’m not used to getting so many saves,” Leone said. “Each game I feel like I am getting better, while each game the teams are getting tougher.” 

The Lady Toppers will play next Saturday against their first Conference USA opponent, Marshall, at 6:00 p.m. in Huntington, West Virginia.