WKU opens tournament with MTSU rematch

After going into overtime Mallory Outerbridge, Senior from Regina, Saskatchewan, scored the winning goal against Middle Tennessee State. The Lady Toppers won 2-1 in overtime.

Austin Lanter

WKU entered its final game of the season Friday night

as the fifth seed for the upcoming Sun Belt Conference tournament,

needing a win over fourth-seeded Middle Tennessee State to overtake

the Lady Raiders in the standings.

The Lady Toppers did just that, winning 2-1 in

overtime on a goal from senior forward Mallory Outerbridge

WKU switched seeds with MTSU thanks to the win, but

the teams will still play each other at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the

first round of the league tournament.

The game will be held on the Lady Raiders’ home turf

in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“It’s going to take the kind of heart and battle that

we had tonight,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said. “It’s going to take

some real execution in different parts of the field. Any time it’s

Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky in women’s soccer it’s going

to be a battle.”

Neidell said throughout the year that the regular

season was just a way to prepare for postseason play. 

With the conference tournament beginning Wednesday,

Outerbridge thinks the team is in a good spot.

“I think the team has come together really well,” she

said. “We’re known to be a force to be reckoned with during the

tournament.” “For some reason we always seem to turn it on right

when it counts and I think its just going to keep continuing.

Hopefully we make it to the NCAA tournament.” 

WKU scored 30 minutes into the game when senior

forward Amanda Buechel redirected a header from sophomore

midfielder Chrissy Tchoula.

The Lady Toppers took a 1-0 lead into halftime, but

MTSU came out firing in the second half.

Neidell said the Lady Raiders put WKU “on their

heels” the whole second half. With eight minutes left in the match,

MTSU scored to tie the game 1-1.

“We were talking about being more

aggressive in the second half and unfortunately we weren’t,”

Neidell said. “Middle played a good second half. They took it to


That sequence set up overtime and Outerbridge’s game

winning heroics.

Freshman midfielder Allie Auscherman

played a ball into the box to Outerbridge — the school’s all-time

leading goal scorer. 

Outerbridge played a slow-roller to the post with 13

seconds left in the first overtime period to win the game.

The Saskatchewan native said the win over the Lady

Raiders was emotional because MTSU had eliminated WKU from the Sun

Belt Tournament semifinals one year ago on penalty kicks.

“The team that wanted it was going to win, and us six

seniors wanted it,” Outerbridge said. “We had a sour taste in our

mouth from last year… and we were able to come out on top this


Buechel said Friday’s win was good for the team as a

whole and their confidence going forward.

“I think it’s important to make a statement,” she

said. “This is what we’re going to bring next time and even better.

It gives us the confidence going into the game knowing we can beat

this team.”