WKU’s soccer season to begin Thursday, Lady Toppers to host Austin Peay

The+WKU+soccer+team+during+a+match+against+the+Bellarmine+Knights+on+August+15%2C+2021+at+WKU+Soccer+Complex+in+Bowling+Green%2C+KY

Credit: Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

The WKU soccer team during a match against the Bellarmine Knights on August 15, 2021 at WKU Soccer Complex in Bowling Green, KY

Drew Toennies, Soccer reporter

The Lady Toppers are set to kick off their 2021 season  and will host the Austin Peay Governors at the WKU Soccer Complex on Thursday night for their regular-season opener.

The Lady Toppers competed in two exhibition matches over the month of August in which they faced off against the UT Martin Skyhawks and the Bellarmine Knights.

The Lady Toppers were victorious in both preseason competitions, shutting out UT Martin 1-0 on the road and blanking Bellarmine 1-0 at home.

WKU sophomore Lily Rummo notched the game-winning goal of the first preseason matchup against the Skyhawks, finding the back of the net early in the first half to shut out the Ohio Valley Conference challengers.

In the Lady Topper’s second preseason match, WKU sophomore Annah Hopkins found the back of the net late in the second half, notching the lone goal of the game to shut out the Knights.

WKU’s opponents, the Austin Peay Governors, went 2-7-1 overall in the 2020-21 season. The Governors ended their regular season in Morehead, Ky. in a 3-2 double overtime loss to the Morehead State Eagles.

During this year’s preseason the Governors finished with a 1-1-0 record, taking down Bethel (Tenn.) 4-1 in their first exhibition match and then concluding the preseason against Middle Tennessee with a 1-1 draw.

Austin Peay senior Rachel Bradberry was one of the Governors’ key offensive players last season, leading the team in goals (3) with a total of seven points. The Madison, Ala. native picked up the OVC Academic Medal of Honor award in 2020-21 and made the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Fifth-year midfielder Claire Larose was the second-best offensive weapon at the Governors disposal, notching two goals and six points last season. Larose also managed to find the back of the net twice in the Governors’ preseason match against Bethel (Tenn.). 

The London, Ontario native has earned multiple conference accolades including 2019 All-OVC First Team, 2018 All-OVC Second Team and an OVC Offensive Player of the Week nod on Sept. 18, 2018. The midfielder also made the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21.

The Lady Toppers will take the pitch to open the season on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. CT at the WKU Soccer Complex. 

Soccer reporter Drew Toennies can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.