WOMEN’s SOCCER: Ladies’ 4-0 shutout turns losing season around

Beth Wilberding

Much was at stake when the Lady Topper soccer team walked onto Morehead State’s field Sunday afternoon.

Western was ready to turn its losing season around, and with conference play looming, a win was what the team needed.

And a win was what the Lady Toppers got.

For the first time this season, Western shutout an opponent, beating Morehead State 4-0 and returning its record to .500.

“Our mentality was totally different than it has been lately,” junior forward Kelly Frericks said. “Our work ethic was kicking in majorly.”

The Lady Toppers scored again almost 20 minutes later when freshman Jenna Silverberg added her team-leading seventh goal of the season off an assist from junior Allison Nellis.

After the first half, Western (4-4) had held Morehead (2-5-1) to just one shot.

In the second half, the Lady Toppers continued to dominate the Eagles, as Nellis added an unassisted goal 10 minutes into the period. Doogs closed out the game when she scored her second goal.

“They really weren’t all (on) me,” Doogs said. “The people who passed them to me (deserve credit).”

Doogs said the team had worked hard in practice all week and the coaches had done a lot to try to “pump up” the team’s mentality.

“We played with a lot more intensity today than we have in any of our away games,” coach Jason Neidell said after the team’s first road win. “You could tell the girls were really focused and wanted to win.”

Neidell said the team wasn’t “forced to work that hard defensively” against the Eagles, but he liked how the “defenders were able to attack.”

Now the Lady Toppers are turning their attention to this weekend’s home games. On Friday night, Western faces Austin Peay at 7 p.m.

Sunday, the team will play its first conference game of the season when it hosts Florida International at noon.

Frericks said Western will need to keep its mentality strong while facing conference foes.

“We can’t let little stuff shut us down when we play some of the easier teams,” she said. “We have to go in strong again, just like we would against Denver.”

Denver is the defending conference champion.

Players said if the team can continue to play like it did in Morehead, conference play won’t be a problem.

“We played more as a team than we did last week,” Doogs said. ” (We) went out and reorganized ourselves on the field and came out a better team (Sunday).”

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]