WKU draws at FAU, Barnett nets team-leading fifth goal of the spring

WKU women’s soccer player Katie Erwin (13) celebrates with her teammate Ambere Barnett (15) after a big goal to put Western up two goals against their opponent FIU after their game on March 4, 2021.

Ian Fleischman

The Lady Toppers (4-1-1), (2-0-1, C-USA) resumed Conference USA play against Florida Atlantic (2-2-2), (1-0-1, C-USA). The Lady Toppers entered the game with a lot of momentum after their 1-0 win against Centre College last Saturday.

WKU settled for a draw over the Owls on Friday night down in the Sunshine state

Junior midfielder Ambere Barnett continued her offensive performance scoring her fifth goal of the season when she booted the ball in at the 62nd minute. 

Senior forward Miracle Porter scored FAU’s lone goal of the game and her second goal of the season at the 71st minute.

The Lady Toppers have played outstanding this season, and they matched their best start since 2012 when they were (4-1), (2-0, C-USA). The Lady Toppers 65.1% shot accuracy has a lot to do with their success, and that puts them at the top of Conference USA and 13th nationally for shot accuracy.

The Lady Toppers have met FAU 11 total times, and WKU won their last matchup in 2017 1-0.

Both teams had momentum heading into the game. Florida Atlantic won their last two matches after a 0-2-1 start, and the Lady Toppers were riding a four game winning streak.

The Lady Toppers defense has been playing lights out with two shutouts on the season, and they would be looking to Barnett and sophomore forward Katie Erwin to carry them on the offensive side. FAU would be looking to utilize their top scorers junior defender Amanda Martin and Miracle Porter to have the upperhand.

The Lady Toppers’ offense started their attack on offense with freshman defender Ellie Belcher’s shot at the 11th minute hitting the crossbar, and freshman midfielder Brina Micheels’ shot at the 12th minute was too high.

Barnett’s shot at the 20th minute was snagged by redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Wasdin for her first save on the night. 

FAU’s first shot at the 25th minute by redshirt-junior Gi Krstec was blocked.

No team had scored heading into halftime. The Lady Toppers and Florida Atlantic both played excellent defense, and they didn’t leave much room for offensive production to that point. The Lady Toppers led in shots 4-1 over FAU at the half, and FAU led in saves 2-0.

Porter’s shot for FAU at the 49th minute was snagged by sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Kobylinski for her first save of the game.

Barnett struck for first blood at the 62nd minute off freshman midfielder Annah Hopkins’ assist. The Lady Toppers took the lead 1-0 over Florida Atlantic.

FAU’s shot at the 66th minute was caught by Ashley Kobylinski for her second save of the game.

FAU continued to apply pressure on WKU, and at the 71st minute Porter’s goal tied the game up 1-1.

The Lady Toppers and Florida Atlantic were tied up at the end of the second half, and they took the game into overtime.

Both teams couldn’t get an edge in the first overtime. The defense on both sides continued to play at a high level, and the offense could not get any production going.

Neither team could pull out a goal towards the end. FAU outshot WKU 10-9 at the end of the game. Both teams tied with three saves. 

Up next the Lady Toppers will be at the WKU Soccer Complex to play conference rival Marshall on March 18 at 5 p.m.

Soccer beat reporter Ian Fleischman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ian_fleischman.