WKU not overlooking Belmont, Eastern Michigan

Austin Lanter

The best way to rebound from a loss is to come right back out and play.

After Sunday’s loss to No. 20 Memphis, the Lady Toppers (3-2) will have two chances at home this weekend to get back on the winning track. 

WKU hosts Belmont at 6 p.m. Friday and Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m. Sunday. Head Coach Jason Neidell and the Lady Toppers aren’t looking past either team.

“We’re playing two more good teams this weekend,” Neidell said. “It’s a matter of competing at a consistently high level now. It’s the challenges within ourselves.”

WKU last played against Belmont during the 2008 season and was able to get away with a 2-0 win. However, Sunday will be WKU’s first ever meeting with Eastern Michigan.

Senior forward Lindsey Goad said that having played Belmont in the past will prove to be beneficial, but Eastern Michigan will be more difficult due to the fact that the teams have never gone head-to-head.

“We’ve played Belmont before so I think we have an idea about them,” Goad said. “But definitely playing Eastern Michigan, we have never played them before so I think just coming out with a good attitude and playing hard against them is definitely a big importance for winning both games this weekend.”

Sophomore midfielder Chrissy Tchoula agreed and said that coming out strong will be the key, especially in the Belmont game.

“Belmont is a team that we should beat, and those are sometimes the hardest games,” she said. “You come out thinking that you will be victorious, and then you do not play as well. But they’re a good side and we just need to keep playing hard and take it one game at a time.”

Neidell said the Lady Toppers played well Sunday against Memphis, but he’d still like to see more consistency.

Goad agreed.

“We’re 3-2 right now, and definitely keeping a winning record is important,” she said. “Having two big wins this weekend would be really awesome to set us up for the rest of the season.”

Something both Goad and Tchoula said that will bode well for the Lady Toppers this weekend is how strong their lineup has been.

“We have had a lot of great individual performances,” Tchoula said. “I am really proud of a lot of the freshmen. They’re coming in and really making an impact and our chemistry is really good. We haven’t had a problem with working hard. That’s a standard that we can keep and raise throughout the season.”

Goad agreed and said that having the younger players step up has been really important so far.

“I definitely think that having a strong lineup, like playing different people and different classes and everything has been really important,” she said. “It has shown a lot through our games so far.”

Neidell said he sees room for improvement in certain areas, but overall he’s been satisfied with how the players have progressed as a team.

“I am actually pretty pleased with where the team’s mentality is five games into the season,” Neidell said. “I feel really good about the progress we have made and if we can continue to make progress through the next five games, we will be in good shape.”