WKU Soccer defeats UTEP at home after dropping C-USA opener


Michael Dylan Payne

WKU Soccer celebrates a goal against the University of Texas at El Paso in a 1-0 win. Sept. 22, 2022.

Joseph Thompson, Sports Editor

WKU Soccer (3-4-2, 0-1-0 C-USA)  defeated the UTEP Miners (3-4-3, 0-0-2 C-USA) 1-0 Thursday night in front of the home crowd at the WKU Soccer Complex.

The Hilltoppers responded to a loss in their C-USA opener against Louisiana Tech with a shutout against the Miners. The WKU offense was solid, attempting nine total shots and four shots on goal, scoring on one. 

Head coach Jason Neidell said he stressed to his players before the game the importance of increasing their chances to score.

“I mean, we’ve been having trouble creating chances to score. All week in practice, we have been working on how to do that,” Neidell said. “We’ve been working on trying to create more chances, and I love the way we came out and got after it and increased our chances right away.”

The Hilltopper defense was the story of the game. WKU held UTEP to just three total shots and one shot on goal during the shutout.

“I am really happy with our team’s defense tonight,” Nediell said. “There were moments in the game where we didn’t play as well as we wanted to but we defended hard and defended well.” 

The Hilltoppers opened the game ultra-aggressive on offense. WKU shot the ball four times in the first six minutes of the game. 

The tenacious WKU offense scored the first goal of the game in the 33rd minute with a strike down the box by junior Lilly Rummo.  Neidell’s squad opened the game with a great defensive effort. 

WKU did a great job controlling the ball. UTEP could not manage to take a shot in the first ten minutes of the game. Sophomore Aspen Seaich almost gave the Hilltoppers their second goal of the day with a shot that just missed top right. 

After the goal, the game stood still until halftime. Neither team would attempt a shot for the rest of the first half. WKU led 1-0 at the break.

The second half started slow for both clubs. Neither team attempted a shot in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

The Hilltoppers made it very tough for the visitors to score the entire night. The Miners only took one shot in the second half and had trouble keeping the ball on their side of the field.

WKU Soccer’s next match is against North Texas. First kick is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex.