Lady Toppers fall to FAU 1-0 in final home match of 2021

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WKU Athletics

Junior forward Katie Erwin keeps the ball away from a defender during the Hilltoppers’ season opener against Austin Peay on Aug. 19, 2021. Erwin would score a goal and provide an assist during the match.

Drew Toennies, Soccer reporter

The Lady Toppers (10-4-0, 5-2-0 C-USA) were shut out 1-0 by the FAU Owls (6-5-4, 4-1-2 C-USA) Friday evening in the 14th and final match at the WKU Soccer Complex this year.

“Well for the last couple of weeks, we haven’t been playing on our front foot,” WKU head coach Jason Neidell said. “It’s like we’re surprised when the ball comes to us. We’re reacting to the game. Those are some things as a coach, I need to take it, to reflect on and figure out what we need to do to be more proactive and anticipatory.”

The Owls outshot the Lady Toppers 11-6 and 5-3 in shots on goal. The Lady Toppers had seven corner kicks while the Owls had six.

FAU senior forward Miracle Porter notched the game-winning goal for FAU in the 35th minute of play and the Lady Toppers were unable to find an equalizer.

“We didn’t create enough chances tonight to win a soccer game, let alone score a goal,” Neidell said.

WKU sophomore midfielder Annah Hopkins took the  first shot of the night in the seventh minute of play. Following Hopkin’s shot was a fast break past the Owls’ defense by junior forward Katie Erwin who launched a shot into the hands of FAU freshman goalkeeper Amit Cohen.

WKU graduate goalkeeper Alexis Bach dove across the goal in the 11th minute to save a dangerous shot from FAU graduate forward Bri Austin.

Two corner kick opportunities were awarded to the Lady Toppers in the 14th and 16th minutes but neither attempt resulted in a score.

FAU junior midfielder Thelma Hermannsdottir took a shot that went out the right at the 29 minute mark but Porter found the back of the net in the 35th minute to put the Owls on the board with 10 minutes remaining before the end of the first half.

The Owls held the lead at half after outshooting WKU 5-3 and 3-1 in shots on goal.

FAU was awarded a corner kick in the 47th minute but the Lady Toppers defended the net and launched the ball back down the field.

In the 48th minute, Austin was awarded a penalty kick, but Bach dove and swatted away the shot to the approval of WKU’s home crowd.

WKU graduate defender Avery Jacobsen had a look for the equalizer in the 66th minute but her shot was out the top.

The Owls’ defense held off the Lady Toppers for the remainder of the match to hand WKU their second conference loss of the season.

“We have to become a way better attacking team if we want to win,” Neidell said. 

The Lady Toppers will conclude their regular season in Charlotte, North Carolina next Thursday in a matchup against the Charlotte 49ers, who currently sit third in the east division with 12 points. The match will kick off at 6 p.m. CT.

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