Lady Toppers score Sunday win

Sophomore midfielder Chandler Clark celebrates after scoring her team’s first goal in the first half of WKU’s game against Lipscomb. WKU would win the game 2-1.

Jonah Phillips

The Lady Toppers picked up their first win in three weeks over the weekend with a tie Friday and victory at home Sunday.

Things got started Friday when WKU (2-3-4) finished in a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes of play against Belmont (2-4-1) in Nashville.

The Lady Toppers matched the WKU record for ties in a season against Belmont. The soccer team has now been in four ties through nine games this year. There are nine games left in the season.

WKU controlled the pace for the majority of the game, outshooting the Lady Bruins 16-9, but that couldn’t stop the opponent from drawing first blood in the 47th minute off a goal from Allie Hicks.  

Hicks fired a shot into an empty box from 25 yards out, and even though WKU’s senior goalkeeper Nora Abolins nabbed the ball in an attempted save, she couldn’t keep it from crossing the plane and the score was awarded to the Lady Bruins.

The Lady Topper attack proved too much for the Lady Bruins to hold off, firing seven shots on goal to Belmont’s four.

The Lady Toppers trailed for 10 minutes before freshman forward Iris Dunn netted her first career goal to equalize the score at 1-1. It was the first goal for WKU in 375 minutes, dating back to Sept. 5.

“You have to feel good about that,” coach Jason Neidell said about breaking that streak. “The objective of the game is to score goals, so it makes our kids feel good going into conference play.”

Dunn’s goal came off a cross from senior defender Andrea Curry, whose cross wouldn’t have been possible without a through ball from junior midfielder Kelsey Burnette. Both Curry and Burnette were credited with an assist.

The Lady Toppers were back at home Sunday in their last non-conference contest of the season, taking on Lipscomb. The Lady Bisons scored a 4-0 win over Belmont in the previous week.  

The tone was set by Dunn early — she fired three shots in the first 13 minutes of the game. Dunn finished the game with a career-high six shots as the Lady Toppers outshot Lipscomb 13-7.

Sophomore midfielder Chandler Clark scored her first goal of the season in the 38th minute after she won a header off senior midfielder Chrissy Tchoula’s corner kick.  

Getting help from the right post, the ball bounced into the back of the net and gave Clark her second career goal. Tchoula’s assist was her first of the season and the ninth of her career.

“We played really well as a team,” Curry said. “I saw things get implemented in the game that we have been working on in practice, and everyone likes to see that happen.”

This was the first time in 484 minutes that the Lady Toppers had the lead in a game.

Lipscomb (3-4-2) tied the game at 1-1 in the 60th minute.

The match remained gridlocked for the next 24 minutes until sophomore defender Alanna Clancey netted her first career goal in game-winning fashion in the 84th minute.

“We’ve been working on attacking in practice this past week because we’ve tied so many games and we want to get goals,” Clancey said. “So it was really good to see that we were able to finish it off.”

Neidell said he was pleased to earn the win with time running out.

“A tough goal late to win says a lot about our team’s will to win,” he said.

WKU will be back at home Friday, playing host to Louisiana-Monroe in their Sun Belt Conference opener and “Kick For Pink” match. The first touch will be at 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex and all fans wearing pink will receive free admission.