WOMEN’s SOCCER: Lady Tops play Eagles Sunday

Beth Wilberding

As the women’s soccer team tries to reach for a .500 record, there probably couldn’t be a better team to play than Morehead State.

Western has played Morehead in each of its first two seasons and has outscored the Eagles 12-4 in those games.

So the Lady Toppers might be thanking the schedule-maker after Sunday.

That’s when Western (3-4) travels to Morehead State to try and rinse out the loss to Vanderbilt from Sunday. The loss to Vandy put Western under .500 for the first time in its history after seven games.

On top of that, the two teams have a dramatic past. First, in 2001, then-freshman Allison Nellis buried a goal in overtime to give Western a 2-1 win – its first ever.

And last year the teams were tied at halftime before Western went on a seven-goal binge in the second half to win the game in Bowling Green.

After all that, the Lady Toppers said the game carries added weight.

“There’s always desire to beat someone in-state,” sophomore Becky Slogic said. “We don’t have any long history with (them). But there’s that pressure to beat them.”

This season Morehead is 1-4-1 and has been outscored by opponents 23-7.

However, with the loss at Vandy still on the Western’s mind, players know they have a lot to work on before Sunday.

Junior Melissa Robinson said that sometimes the team underestimates an opponent’s ability or played to the opponent’s level.

“We usually step down and play at their level,” she said. “Sometimes we give (teams) more of a chance than they deserve.”

Along with loss of concentration as a team, the Lady Toppers have endured two injuries. Slogic tore her anterior cruciate ligament during the first scrimmage of the season. She has missed all of this season but will have recovered by spring practice.

And in Sunday’s loss, junior Andrea Doogs was injured when she collided with a Vandy player and bruised her knee, forcing her to leave the game. Coach Jason Neidell said it is too early to tell if Doogs will be able to play Sunday.

Neidell said the team needed to focus on its goal of winning the Sun Belt Conference.

“There’s been distractions,” he said. “It’s time to come together as a team.”

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]