Shot increase not good enough for WKU soccer team

M. Blake Harrison

From an outsider’s view, recording and increasing the number of shots in games would seem to bode well for a soccer team.

After all, if you don’t shoot the ball, you can’t score.

Though that might be how outsiders look at it, that logic doesn’t fly with the WKU soccer team.

At the beginning of the season, WKU (1-3-2) struggled to get off many shots, averaging just six per contest through the first three games.

Since then, the Lady Toppers have seen that number rise to 18.3 — an increase of nearly 205 percent.

Not only that, but the number of shots allowed has remained comparable.

But, the statistic has had little influence on the wins column, since WKU has won just one of their last three matches.  

Redshirt senior defender Jamie Silverberg said she thinks that if the defense continues to do its part, the offense will come through.

“We just need to continue to try to keep the ball out of our end as much as we can,” Silverberg said. “I think it’ll come as time goes on, but we really need to start making our mark back there with more of a blue-collar attitude.”

All but one of the goals scored against the Lady Toppers has come in the first period.

Head Coach Jason Neidell has said all season that focus and attention to detail can influence the outcome of matches. He noted that Ball State was able to capitalize on its opportunity to score Friday night in a 1-0 WKU loss.

After the match, redshirt junior forward Mallory Outerbridge echoed Neidell’s sentiments.

“You can outshoot your opponent 30-3, and if they get one goal, that’s all it takes,” Outerbridge said. “Outshooting doesn’t mean much when you don’t capitalize.”

Outerbridge said coming out flat during a game can ultimately seal a team’s fate — evidence that shooting more times in a game than their opponent is not an accurate measure of final results.

Junior midfielder Kelsey Meyer said the Lady Toppers don’t take comfort in looking at the stat sheet and seeing that it outshot its last foe.

“Yeah, it’s going in our favor,” Meyer said. “But if we don’t score, it doesn’t really matter.”