Preview: Lady Toppers to continue homestand against no. 18 Commodores


Credit: Gunnar Word/WKU Athletics

Freshman midfielder Briana Sayoc looks for an open teammate during WKU’s game against Union University on Aug. 21, 2021 at the WKU Soccer Complex.

Drew Toennies, Soccer reporter

The Lady Toppers (2-0-0) are set to take on the no. 18 Vanderbilt Commodores (1-0-1) Thursday evening at the WKU Soccer Complex for the penultimate match in WKU’s season-opening homestand.

The WKU Soccer program has never won a match against Vanderbilt, falling short all four times the teams have crossed paths. The Commodores defeated the Lady Toppers 2-0 in 2011 in the program’s first meeting. In 2012, the Lady Toppers hosted the Commodores at the WKU Soccer Complex but fell short 4-1.

The third meeting was held in Bowling Green in 2017 and the Commodores were victorious 1-0. The last time the two teams met was in back in 2018 and Vanderbilt won 2-0 at home.

The Lady Toppers have yet to allow a goal in their first two regular-season contests and most recently shut out the Union University Lady Bulldogs 3-0 on Aug. 21. Junior forward Katie Erwin currently leads the team in goals (2), assists (3) and points (7) and her efforts earned her the first C-USA Player of the Week award of the fall season on Tuesday.

“I think we’re very excited to play Vanderbilt, but we’ll take it just as any other game, go out strong, play hard,” Grad student defender Mackenzie Crittenberger shared after the win. “They’ll be a physical SEC team, so we need to play fast again from the start, go hard, get one in the back of the net.”

Vanderbilt shut out the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 1-0 in the Commodore’s season opener. Vanderbilt midfielder Abi Brighton lifted her team over the Golden Eagles in overtime, finding the back of the net to break the tie.

Vanderbilt faced off against Purdue on Aug. 22 and the Commodores escaped an upset loss to the Boilermakers by drawing a tie in a match that featured two overtime periods. Vanderbilt midfielder/forward Peyton Cutshall found the back of the net off of a corner kick with 40 seconds left in regulation to draw even with Purdue. The two teams held each other scoreless to force a tie.

First kick is set for Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. CT. The game is set to be streamed via the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network on Facebook.

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