WKU Soccer held scoreless against North Texas University

WKU+goalkeeper%2C+Maddie+Davis+warms+up+before+Thursday%E2%80%99s+game+against+the+University+of+Texas+at+El+Paso+on+Sept.+22%2C+2022.++The+Hilltoppers+defeated+the+Miners+in+a+1-0+victory.++

Michael Dylan Payne

WKU goalkeeper, Maddie Davis warms up before Thursday’s game against the University of Texas at El Paso on Sept. 22, 2022. The Hilltoppers defeated the Miners in a 1-0 victory.

Jake McMahon, Soccer Reporter

WKU Soccer (4-5-2, 1-2 C-USA) lost to the University of North Texas Mean Green (7-4-1, 3-1 C-USA) 1-0 in its third game of conference play Sunday afternoon at the WKU Soccer Complex.

“North Texas is a really good team. It was the highest scoring offense in the league versus the stingiest defense in the league,” WKU head coach Jason Neidell said. “I’m a little bit disappointed that we weren’t able to keep possession of the ball and keep the ball connected through the midfield so that our defenders aren’t under so much pressure.”

WKU was very aggressive on offense despite not scoring. The Hiltoppers outshot the Mean Green 11-8. The Hiltoppers also led the game with two corner kicks. The game was at a stand still until the 80th minute, when Mean Green junior midfielder Avery Barron scored the sole goal of the game.

The first half started off with good attacking play from the Hilltoppers. WKU led the shot total in the first 45 minutes 6-2. Although the Hilltoppers had more chances in the first, North Texas had the best chance of the entire half in the 24th minute. A header off of a cross into the box looked like it was going to sneak in bottom-left but senior keeper Alexis Bach made a great save.

The first half was very physical for both teams. The squads combined to total nine fouls in the half. A yellow card was given to Mean Green head coach John Hedlund after he argued what he thought to be a foul on WKU.

The second half started off slow for both teams. WKU had only two shots through the first 15 minutes. In spite of a flat first half, North Texas started applying pressure on the Hilltoppers’ midfielders.

The Mean Green scored the only goal in the match in the 80th minute on a shot from junior Avery Barron. The Hilltoppers tried to answer with a late goal but good defense from the Mean Green held the Hilltoppers scoreless.

“We pride ourselves on being a stingy defense first and obviously we gave up a goal today,” Niedell said. “We got a good long week of practice ahead of us and we need to get back to work.”

The Hilltoppers will look to get back in the win column against rival Middle Tennessee State University at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. CT.

Sports reporter Jake McMahon be reached at [email protected]