Auscherman’s first career goal gives WKU soccer a 1-0 win over South Alabama

Austin Lanter

After Troy snapped the Lady Toppers’ six-match unbeaten streak Thursday night, WKU was ready to get back to winning on Sunday against South Alabama on the road.

The Jaguars entered the game undefeated at home and a spot above WKU is the Sun Belt rankings.

In the 80th minute, freshman midfielder Allie Auscherman scored her first career goal off a header from a cross by senior forward Amanda Buechel. It proved be the only goal of the game as WKU (11-6-1, 6-3-1 Sun Belt Conference) won 1-0.

The win also put the Lady Toppers in fifth place in the Sun Belt. The top eight teams qualify for the conference tournament.

“We actually worked on scoring with our head in practice on Friday so it was great to see it translate into the game,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said.

The Lady Toppers came out firing early, taking three shots in the first two minutes of the game. Despite 12 shots in the first half, four of which were on goal, WKU couldn’t find the back of the net.

“We played very well in the first half, we just couldn’t connect,” Neidell said. “In the second half we just continued to compete. Good things come to those who work hard.”

In the second half, it took the Lady Toppers 21 minutes to get their first shot off. Then, in the 80th minute, Auscherman scored the game-winning goal.

The Lady Toppers had twice as many shots as the Jaguars, holding a 16-8 advantage. Buechel led the way for WKU, taking five of those shots.

Neidell said the win was an important one for the team at this point in the season.

“We’re vying for that fourth, fifth or sixth seed right now (in the Sun Belt tournament),” he said. “They were ahead of us and undefeated at home. It was an important win for our confidence late in the season.”

The Lady Toppers have one game left in the season, which is against Middle Tennessee State. MTSU is currently ranked directly above WKU in the Sun Belt standings, making the game important for WKU.

The two teams will square off Friday at 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex.