WOMEN’S SOCCER: Lady Tops fall to .500

Jay Lively

Western’s women’s soccer team (3-3) traveled to Oklahoma State and Drake this weekend riding a three-game winning streak.

The Lady Toppers left with a new streak, losing 4-1 to the Cowgirls and 5-1 to the Lady Bulldogs.

Despite a disappointing weekend, the team remains positive and is looking forward to conference play.

“Oklahoma State (5-0) is probably the best team we’ll play this year,” assistant coach David Neidell said. “The beginning of the second half, we actually played twenty minutes of our best soccer.”

OSU scored three first-half goals within an eight-minute span to take control of the game, scoring just one other goal the rest of the contest.

“We actually didn’t play very bad against Oklahoma State,” said sophomore forward Allison Nellis, who scored her fourth goal of the season against Drake. “If you just count the second half it was 1-1.”

In the second game of the trip the Lady Toppers traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to take on the Lady Bulldogs (2-2-1). Head coach Jason Neidell said he felt Western was the better team, but the Lady Toppers got some bad breaks.

“We were obviously very disappointed in the game against Drake,” Neidell said. “They were very opportunistic. Things just went their way.”

This year’s team faces increased expectations and a tougher schedule than last year’s team, which finished 14-5 in its first season. on the Hill.

“We have to look into the fact that we’re playing more difficult teams this year,” sophomore forward Kelly Frericks said. “The positive is that we’re not in our conference (schedule) and we have lots of time to improve. We just need to look at where we need to improve and work on it.”

Neidell said the team has had a hard time adjusting to changes in the team’s approach this year.

“We’re working on a new system right now and the players don’t seem real comfortable with it,” Neidell said. “We’re going to make some changes so that the players are more comfortable.”

Both coaches and players say that they’ll get it taken care of in time to make a run at the Sun Belt Conference championship this year in Mobile, Ala.

After a 3-3 start, Neidell urges patience.

“We have a different perspective this year,” Neidell said. “We have a legitimate shot at winning the conference. We’re fine-tuning and tweaking so that we will be peaking toward the end of the season.”

The Lady Toppers play Oral Roberts Friday at 7 p.m.

Reach Jay Lively at [email protected]