WKU soccer falls 1-0 to Troy to end six-match winning streak

Austin Lanter

WKU’s six-match winning streak came to an abupt end Thursday night as the Lady Toppers fell 1-0 at home to Troy.

The lone goal of the game came in the 11th minute when a Troy player connected on a far post shot just outside the 18 yard line.

After 25 minutes of soccer, Head Coach Jason Neidell switched formations in hopes of creating more space in the midfield. The new formation called for four defenders, for four midfielders and two forwards.

Neidell said the change didn’t work as planned.

“That (the switch) was a big reason for our disorganization the last 20 minutes of the first half,” he said.

Neidell also said the Lady Toppers (10-6-1, 5-3-1 Sun Belt Conference) looked very panicked after Troy scored the early goal.

Senior forward Amanda Buechel agreed and said Neidell told the team to relax.

“We were down one goal and we just started playing like the game was over,” she said.

At halftime WKU held a 7-4 shot advantage over the Trojans.

Neidell decided to switch back to the regular formation after halftime hoping the team would be more organized.

He also pulled sophomore defender Torrie Lange from defense to midfield despite the fact that she hadn’t played that position in a year.

In the second half, WKU was able to outshoot Troy 10 to 2, but couldn’t find the back of net. The total shot count favored the Lady Toppers 17-6.

“We need to do better in front of the goal tonight,” Neidell said. “We obviously need to create more chances. We squandered some, but we didn’t really create any chances.

“I give credit to Troy. They competed really hard tonight and had a good game plan and played it to perfection.”

Only two games remain in the regular season for the Lady Toppers.

The top eight teams make the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and WKU sits in fifth place. Middle Tennessee State is a spot above WKU and the two teams will meet next Friday in the regular season finale.

Buechel said WKU needs to be more competitive heading down the stretch.

“We just need to get out there and want it more and play harder than the other team,” she said. “Obviously we just want to win and get into the tournament and start from there. We need to have a good start and lead into a good tournament run.”

WKU will travel to South Alabama on Sunday for a match at 1 p.m.