Lady Toppers come out ‘wide-eyed,’ lose to Vanderbilt

Austin Lanter

The WKU Soccer team traveled to Nashville Friday night to take on Vanderbilt but came up on the losing end of a 2-0 match.

Head Coach Jason Neidell said the Lady Toppers (2-1) struggled to get in sync throughout the course of the game.

“In the first half, we were not getting good shape out of the team,” Head Coach Jason Neidell said. “We had no movement so it was hard to get an attack. We were turning balls over in dangerous parts of the field which led to the goal.”

The first goal of the match came with 10 minutes left in the first half. WKU fouled Vanderbilt in the penalty box resulting in a penalty kick. Vanderbilt’s Junior Midfielder CJ Rhoades put the ball in the back of the net, giving the Commodores a 1-0 lead, which they took into halftime.

Vanderbilt wasted no time finding the net again in the second half. Just 10 minutes after intermission, the Lady Commodores put a goal in off a cross.

The Lady Toppers were never able to respond.

Neidell said his team came out too “wide-eyed.”

“We didn’t come out ready against a good opponent,” he said. “We weren’t able to build our attack. By the time we were ready to invest, we were already down two goals.”

WKU only managed to get four shots off during the game, compared to Vanderbilt’s eight. Three of WKU’s four shots came in the first half.

The Lady Toppers had a couple opportunities that they couldn’t convert on, including a couple chances off a corner. Also, senior forward Mallory Outerbridge had a shot in the first half that a Vanderbilt defender ended up clearing off the goal line, right before it went in.

Despite only one shot in the second half, Neidell said he was pleased with his team’s play after halftime.

“We had a really strong showing in the second half,” he said. “The kids played well and it looked like we deserved to be competing against Vanderbilt. We just needed to play like we had all preseason. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, we just need to go out and play.”

The Lady Toppers will be back in action next on Sept. 2, in Clarksville, Tenn., to take on Austin Peay at 7 p.m.