WKU soccer drops third straight in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Denver

Austin Lanter

After a 2-1 loss to North Texas Friday night, WKU was at it again two days later against Denver. However, it was the same result for the Lady Toppers (5-5, 0-2) as they fell to the Pioneers, 2-0. 

It didn’t take Denver long to find the back of the net. Just 14 minutes into the game, Kristen Hamilton slid one past goalkeeper Libby Stout to give Denver a 1-0 lead.

Then, with less than two minutes to go before halftime, Jessy Battelli of Denver was able to connect on a header giving the Pioneers a 2-0 lead that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.

“They broke us down one vs. one on both goals,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said. “The second was unfortunate due to time. There was only minute and a half left in first half.”

WKU struggled to get anything going offensively. The Lady Toppers managed just three shots all game.

“It begins defensively,” sophomore midfielder Chrissy Tchoula said. “When we did get the ball we were panicked. A lot of times we gave it away and didn’t even have an opportunity to shoot.”

Despite losing 2-0, Neidell said he saw a lot of improvement from Friday’s game against North Texas, a game he said the team “tanked”, to Sunday’s match.

“The biggest thing is to see us comeback and play better today after we tanked it on Friday,” he said. “We could’ve put our heads down and buried ourselves. We need more attacking spark. We fought back a little today after the poor performance Friday.”

Sophomore defender Stephanie Lindsey agreed, saying that the team defending improved from the first game to this one.

“We need to move forward and take this weekend for what we can and concentrate on the next game,” she said. “We did a lot better today. We didn’t come out ready on Friday. We need to work together with our possession.”

After only taking 10 shots in two games this weekend, Neidell said that offense is something that the team will be focusing on in practice this week. He added that the team needs to be more productive on the attacking side and create more chances. 

Even though WKU is now 0-2 in Sun Belt play, Tchoula said there are some positives to this weekend.

“I feel like this gives us things to work on,” she said. “We played two of the best teams in the conference. It’s only up from here. Now we know what we’re up against and things we need to improve on. We need to bring home some wins now.”

The Lady Toppers’ first match is at 6 p.m. Friday against Arkansas-Little Rock. They’ll follow that up at 1 p.m. Sunday against Arkansas State.