Lady Toppers score late goal to tie No. 14 Memphis

Alison Stahlke/

Natalie Hayden

Despite difficulties with spacing in their first exhibition on Friday, the Lady Toppers stepped up offensively on Sunday to tie No. 14 Memphis 2-2 on the road.

“We were sitting back a little bit because we were playing a good team,” coach Jason Neidell said in a release. “As soon as we told our team to step up the pressure, they all stepped up as a unit.

“They put the pressure on and we were able to get that goal in the final minutes.”

The tying goal came in the 88th minute, when freshman forward Lauren Moats sailed a shot over the opposing keeper into the right side of the goal.

“Ali (Stahlke) sent me a ball from the back,” Moats said. “My back was facing the goal and I was able to control it with my head, make a turn and send it over the goalies head.

“When I turned around, I thought to myself, ‘Is this real?’ It was so awesome. Hopefully, there are more to come.”

Neidell said the team was noticeably different than when it played and lost their first exhibition 2-1 to Tennessee-Martin Friday.

“A world of difference (between Friday and tonight),” Neidell said. “We saw two different teams this weekend.

“We saw a team that looked like they had a preseason today. It was really good to see. I was really excited to see the girls respond well to the challenges we put in front of them after Friday night’s game.”

The Lady Toppers play their first regular season game Friday Aug. 17 against Evansville. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex.