WKU Soccer Lady Toppers fall in regular season opener to Utah

WKU sophomore defender Alanna Clancey looks to score a goal during the Toopers’ season opener against Utah. The Toppers would lose to game 0-2.

Jonah Phillips

The Lady Topper soccer team fell 2-0 to Utah in Friday’s season opener at home.

While WKU dominated possession and shot attempts early, the Lady Topper attack never found a firm footing moving forward with the match.

Utah capitalized on its first scoring opportunity, which didn’t come until nearly the 22nd minute, when forward Baylee Nielson connected with her head off a corner from the Avery Ford to put the Lady Toppers down one.

The Lady Toppers would finish off the first half trailing the competition in front of a record-setting crowd of 654 fans at the WKU Soccer Complex.

The enthusiastic home crowd was silenced seconds into the second half, as Utah’s Nielson proved to be too much for WKU again as she netted a second goal from deep during the 46th minute.

Despite chalking up the loss to the non-conference opponent, coach Jason Neidell said he was pleased with his squad’s effort.

“The girls really stepped up and played well,” he said. “We kind of found ourselves today. Even though we lost, we have ourselves a foundation for us to build on. It was really reassuring for us as a staff.”

The Lady Toppers continue their non-conference campaign on Aug. 30 when they will host Rice at the WKU Soccer Complex at 6 p.m.