WOMEN’s SOCCER: Lady Toppers extend streak

Beth Wilberding

It was a good weekend for the Lady Topper soccer team.

Western extended its conference win streak to three games, beating Arkansas State 4-0 and Arkansas-Little Rock 2-0.

Freshman Jenna Silverberg got one step closer to rewriting the women’s soccer record books as she tied the season scoring record at Arkansas State Friday night. Silverberg netted her team-leading 12th goal in Friday’s win.

Sunday the Lady Toppers (8-4) faced Arkansas-Little Rock (4-10-1).

In the first half defense-dominated play, the Trojans were able to hold Western scoreless, allowing only four shots on goal.

However, the Trojans’ defense was not able to contain the Lady Toppers, and one minute into the second half, junior Crystal Chapon scored her first goal of the season off an assist from junior Erica Baker.

“It was awesome,” Chapon said. “I didn’t know I scored initially because I got pushed down.”

Twenty minutes later, the Lady Toppers added another goal when junior Leslie Anderson scored on a pass from Chapon.

“I think we played a very solid game,” junior Melissa Robinson said. “We played really hard … We just played harder than the other team.”

One of the team’s great strengths has recently been its defense. Sunday’s win was the team’s fifth straight shutout. The team hasn’t yielded a goal since losing to Vanderbilt 3-1 on Sept. 21.

“Our defensive effort was fantastic,” Coach Jason Neidell said. “We played really smart soccer. We had solid performances from everybody on the field.”

Neidell said Arkansas-Little Rock was the best team Western has beaten on the road this season.

Friday at Arkansas State (4-8), Silverberg scored in the first five minutes off assists from Chapon and sophomore Christi Banas. She added her second – and record-tying – goal of the game late in the second half.

Jenny Dalby also scored her first goal of the season on a pass from Andrea Doogs.

However, Lady Toppers weren’t the only players to score for Western. An Arkansas State defender kicked in the second goal off a corner kick from Dalby.

Despite the shutout, Neidell was disappointed with how the team played Friday.

“We only played seven minutes of good soccer,” Neidell said. “We certainly didn’t put together 90 minutes of good soccer … We got away with it (Friday). We need to be more consistent.”

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]