Lady Toppers looking for more scoring opportunities

Austin Lanter

After a 0-0 tie on Friday night against Florida International, the Lady Toppers responded with a 3-0 win on Sunday against Florida Atlantic.

But even after more than 40 shots over the weekend and three goals on Sunday, Head Coach Jason Neidell said the execution wasn’t up to par.

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

Junior midfielder Courtney Rymer opened the scoring on Sunday in the 22nd minute. Rymer fired a low shot toward the post from about 18 yards out to give the team a 1-0 lead.

Despite the one goal lead at halftime, Neidell said his team needed to produce more.

“In the first half we had 11 shots and only two on goal,” he said. “We just need to be sharper in front of the net.”

The Lady Toppers (8-5-1, 3-2-1 Sun Belt Conference) answered the call.

Junior defender Ali Stahlke added a goal in the 69th minute as she finished a shot off a rebound from a corner kick. 

After that, senior forward Mallory Outerbridge tallied her 11th goal of the season in the 78th minute off an assist from freshman forward Nicholette Sartori.

Stalhke agreed with Neidell, saying that the Lady Toppers needed to finish better despite their goal barrage on Sunday.

“The past two games we’ve had like 20 and 26 shots, but Friday was 0-0 and today was three goals on 26 shots,” she said. “We just need to finish anything that comes near the goal.”

The Lady Toppers started the weekend with a match against an FIU team that was undefeated in the Sun Belt.

Even though he would’ve liked to have seen more offense, Neidell was more than pleased with his team’s defense against FIU.

He said FIU was probably the most explosive offensive team in the conference and it was good to see the Lady Toppers get the shutout.

WKU had a few shots early in the game that were either deflected on wide on the goal. 

Some of the best chances of the night didn’t come until the second period of overtime. 

Senior forward Amanda Buechel had a shot go into the side netting of the goal, and fellow senior forward Mallory Outerbridge had a shot saved by the keeper. In the end, the game ended 0-0 with both teams having 14 shots on goal.

Rymer said the results from the past two weekends have been important for the Lady Toppers.

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

The Lady Toppers will be back in action this weekend on the road against Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette at 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

WKU has struggled on the road this year, posting a 1-4 record. 

Stalhke said the Lady Toppers just need to continue the success they had this weekend in order to be successful.

“How we’ve been playing these past few games at home, we need to take that with us on the road,” she said. “Even though it’s a really tough trip, we just need to keep the same ideas no matter where we’re playing.”