WKU Soccer off to best start in program history, shuts out Belmont 1-0 in Nashville


WKU defender Avery Jacobsen (12) chases after the ball during a home game against Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. The Lady Toppers won the game in a double-overtime thriller.

Jake Moore, Sports Editor

The Lady Toppers (5-0-0) shut out the Belmont Bruins (3-4-0) 1-0 on Thursday night at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville, Tennessee, securing the program’s best-ever start to a season.

WKU as a unit has yet to lose in team sports this fall. WKU Soccer, Volleyball and Football have combined for a 12-0 start to the season.

“I was really really happy, particularly with the second half,” head coach Jason Neidell said following the match. “The amount of pressure we were able to put on Belmont’s backs and just make things happen.”

Neither side found the back of the net in the first 45 minutes of play, but both keepers were kept busy. WKU’s Alexis Bach had a couplet of saves to her name at the half, with both stops coming within a minute of each other.

“Our team defending has been really, really good,” Neidell said. “We take a lot of pride in having a stingy defense and once again tonight we were really stingy defensively.”

Belmont keeper Sarah Doyle prevented three shots, two from junior forward Ansley Cate and one from freshman defender Aspen Seaich. The Hilltoppers took a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal into the break.

Bach stopped two more Bruins shots coming out of the half and defender Avery Jacobsen found the back of the net off of a free kick in the 73rd minute to give the Lady Toppers the advantage. It was Jacobsen’s second goal of the season.

“We work on it a lot, and Avery’s really stepped up big this year on the free kick scene,” Neidell said. “Brina [Micheels] had a great free kick early in the season, Avery had a great free kick today. It’s a total team effort.”

WKU held off Belmont for the remainder of the match, securing the program’s fourth shutout in five games. The Lady Toppers led in shots 8-7, shots on goal 7-4 and corners 6-3. 

“This is a very difficult challenge, on the road, playing on this turf which is really really bouncy,” Neidell said. “[It’s] difficult to play against a team that plays with a ton of spirit, full credit to Belmont, they played so hard and so fast and just made the game so difficult.”

The Lady Toppers return to Bowling Green on Sunday, Sept. 12 to face Ole Miss at 1 p.m. CT. Neidell encourages fans to come out to support their undefeated team.

“Your Lady Toppers are 5-0, best start in school history, we’re excited,” Neidell said. “I hope our fans are excited to come out and support us on Sunday.”

Sports Editor Jake Moore can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Charles_JMoore.