WKU falls to Tennessee for first loss of year

Natalie Hayden

A bad first half cost WKU on Sunday in a 4-1 loss to Tennessee on Sunday at the WKU Soccer Complex.

Coach Jason Neidell said the team played too timidly in the half.

“It really set us back,” Neidell said. “Our body language changed and our mentality changed. We were really dejected in the first half.”

The Lady Vols scored their first goal in the second minute.

WKU answered in the sixth minute, when junior defender Stephanie Lindsey passed the ball to freshman forward Lauren Moats, who tapped the ball past the goal keeper.

But Tennessee scored again in the ninth, 33rd and 42nd minutes. The last two goals came from a corner kick and a free kick.

“We can’t give up the goals on the set pieces,” Neidell said. “That is something we will work on and get better at.”

WKU came out with more intensity in the second half, which was scoreless by both teams.

“The thing that changed in the second half, we made some tactical adjustments,” Neidell said. “But the big thing that changed was our mentality.

“We were a lot stronger in the second half. Had we done that from the opening whistle, we would have been in really good shape today.”

The Lady Toppers will play next in the Ball State Tournament at Muncie, Ind., this weekend. They’ll face Xavier at 3 p.m. on Friday and Northern Kentucky at 12 p.m. on Sunday.