WOMEN’S SOCCER: Lady Tops shut out in-state rivals

Jason Stamm

xperience prevailed over youth this weekend in Western’s shutout victories over Murray State and Morehead State.

The Lady Toppers kicked off their 2004 campaign on Friday with a 3-0 blanking of host Murray State who has 13 freshmen. The team came home Sunday to win 5-0 in a rematch of Western’s inaugural game.

Western got it going with a goal from senior midfielder Jackie Kreiger and a pair of goals from senior midfielder Betsy Duncan in sloppy playing conditions from Friday’s rainy weather.

“We talked about coming out with a killer instinct and we really took over in the second half,” head coach Jason Neidell said. “Jackie, Betsy and Kim (Wilkowski) played well. There wasn’t a player that played poorly.”

Western put the pressure on in the second half as Murray had trouble getting over midfield. The Lady Racers didn’t get a shot off in the last half of play as they were out shot by Western 19-7.

“Our play in the first 20 minutes of the second half was the key for us,” Duncan said. “We were the more physical team and we just kept working hard.”

The Lady Eagles fielded 11 freshmen but it didn’t start out easy.

Western had just three shots on goal in the first half and senior midfielder Jocelyn Roach provided the lone goal in the 14th minute.

“The first half was slow for us,” sophomore forward Jenna Silverberg said. “We thought we had MSU under our belts, but coach Neidell really put it into perspective at halftime.”

Western came out with much more fire in the second half, with goals from freshman Ceci Shell, junior Jenny Dalby and Silverberg before Duncan’s capper with nine minutes left. Western also held MSU shotless in the second half after accomplishing the same feat at Murray.

“We played a good second half,” Neidell said. “They really responded to my criticisms at halftime and we got some fantastic opportunities from our forwards.”

An emotional moment for Western came in the last 13 minutes against Morehead when Neidell sent 11 of the remaining members of the inaugural team in the game. The group gave Western its final goal in the 5-0 contest.

“To be able to get our inaugural team in the game really meant a lot to me, the players and the fans,” Neidell said.

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