WKU routs Florida Atlantic 3-0 to end homestead

Austin Lanter

WKU posted 26 shots on Florida Atlantic Sunday afternoon, and only allowed the Owls four.

The Lady Toppers (8-5-1, 3-2-1) converted on three of those chances for a 3-0 victory.

Despite the 26 shots and three goals, Head Coach Jason Neidell said the team could’ve had more.

“We had more chances today,” he said. “I actually think we didn’t do a good job finishing today. I thought if we had of done a better job finishing today we could’ve had more goals.”

Junior midfielder Courtney Rymer opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a low shot from about 18 yards out. The Lady Toppers took the 1-0 lead into halftime, outshooting the Owls 11-1 in the period.

In the 69th minute, junior defender Ali Stalhke doubled the lead for WKU. Off a corner kick and shot from senior forward Amanda Buechel, the ball bounced to Stalhke who found the back of the net.

Senior forward Mallory Outerbridge added to her season total in the 78th minute off an assist from freshman midfielder Nicholette Sartori.

“We’ve been stressing (getting to the end line) and the next part is execution,” Neidell said. “We didn’t execute well today with as many chances as we created. We need to do better with our productivity in front of the goal.”

Rymer agreed, saying that finishing was actually a negative on the weekend and that some more of those shots should’ve been in.

The defense was able to post their third shutout in the last four games after losing the previous three matches. Two of those losses were in Sun Belt play to North Texas and Denver.

“After Denver and North Texas I think we came back and regrouped and knew we had to stay organized and not take a minute off, because if you take even one or two plays off they can come at you and score,” Stalhke said.

Stalhke went on to say that the defense could still improve by being more organized in the back.

Neidell said that since those three losses, he has seen a lot of improvements from his team.

“We’re making much better decisions on the ball,” he said. “We’re making better decisions on who to pass to and when to pass it. We’re doing a better job in the middle third of the field as far as possessing the soccer ball.”

After the 0-2 start in the Sun Belt, the Lady Toppers have turned it around and won three of four in conference play.

“We started off 0-2 in the Sun Belt and every win from now is just critical that we get it and just fight to get all of them,” Rymer said.

WKU will be on the road this coming weekend against Louisiana-Monroe at 4 p.m. Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette at 1 p.m. Sunday.