Outerbridge’s goal all WKU needs in 1-0 victory

Senior forward Mallory Outerbridge chips the ball over Southeast Missouri State goalkeeper Ashton Aubuchon to score the go-ahead goal at the WKU Soccer Complex on Sept. 17, 2010. The Lady Toppers defeated the Redhawks, 1-0.

Brad Stephens

Ever since arriving at WKU, Mallory Outerbridge has scored plenty of important goals for the Lady Toppers.

During Friday night’s 1-0 WKU win against Southeast Missouri State, the junior forward from Regina, Saskatchewan, added one more.

With the game scoreless in the 24th minute, Outerbridge received a pass that glanced off the shoulder of midfielder Kelsey Meyer.

Outerbridge made a move to her right around a defender, fired a shot that bounced off the goalkeeper, then got her right foot on the ball to sneak it in for the 1-0 lead.

“It just bounced right,” Outerbridge said. “That’s all you can hope for in that situation.”

Head coach Jason Neidell said the goal was a direct result of the Lady Toppers’ attacking mindset.

“We talked about our ability to make something happen and create some chances to score off of defending,” Neidell said. “The goal was a result of our pressure.”

The one goal lead looked anything but safe over the last fifteen minutes of the game, however.

In the 74th minute WKU defender Jamie Silverberg was able to poke the ball away from an opponent in a one-on-one situation inside the box, preserving the one goal lead.

And in the 86th minute, a Redhawk shot rolled just wide of the goal, with the resulting corner going just over the crossbar.

Junior goalkeeper Libby Stout leaped to pluck a last-ditch corner attempt out of the air in the 89th minute, effectively sealing WKU’s win.

“That’s what a close game is all about,” Neidell said. “We had some opportunities down at their end. They had some opportunities down late on our end. It was one of those heart-pounders for sure.”

Outerbridge said the “heart-pounders” the Lady Toppers are playing now will prove valuable when Sun Belt Conference play kicks off next week.

‘We’ve had a lot of close games lately, so we’re getting better and better under stress,” she said. “That’s a good thing because in conference play that’s how a lot of games end.

“Just having the stress now out of conference is good for us.”

WKU’s first conference game will be at 6 p.m. next Friday against North Texas. The Lady Toppers follow that up with a Sunday afternoon game against Denver.

Grover said the team still has areas to improve before Sun Belt play begins.

“We’re watching film, and there’s still tiny stuff we can improve on,” she said. “But we’ll get there.”