MVP Sports Channel

Tuneups Over For WKU Soccer

WKUPreseason. Tuneups. Going over your lines. No matter what you want to call it the Western Kentucky soccer program played a pair of exhibition games this past weekend at UT-Martin and at Memphis.
Against UT-Martin, WKU had an early lead. It was the first ever night game at Skyhawk Field on the UT-Martin campus.The lead was short lived as the home team won 2-1.
“They showed why they are defending champions of the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference),” head coach Jason Neidell said. “I am sure they are going to go on and have a great season.”
Senior Courtney Rymer scored the lone goal for the visitors, she got some help from Freshman Lauren Moats.
Western Kentucky didn’t have much time to lament the loss as they traveled to the land of Elvis for an exhibition against the 14th-ranked Memphis Tigers. The match was played at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
A goal in the closing stages saw the teams battle to a 2-2 draw. Coach Neidell said there was a difference between Friday’s game at UT-Martin and Grizzly World.
“We saw two different teams this weekend. We saw a team that looked like they had a preseason today. It was really good to see. I was really excited to see the girls respond well to the challenges we put in front of them after Friday night’s game.”
The dramatic goal in the 88th minute came from Moats. Her shot found its way over freshman keeper Christa Strickland on a shot from the right side of the box. She credits Ali Stahlke for moving the ball forward. “My back was facing the goal and I was able to control it with my head, make a turn and send it over the goalies head. When I turned around, I thought to myself, ‘Is this real?’It was so awesome. Hopefully, there are more to come.”
The Toppers were trailing late in the contest, however the defense cranked up the pressure in the final minutes and that led to the tying goal
“We were sitting back a little bit because we were playing a good team,” said Neidell. “As soon as we told our team to step up the pressure, they all stepped up as a unit. They put the pressure on and we were able to get that goal in the final minutes.”
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.
The game was a tight one as Memphis took an early 1-0 lead. Lady Topper Senior Amanda Buechel tied the score 1-1 shooting the ball in the right corner of the net in the early stages of the second half.
WKU starts the season Aug. 17 at home at 7pm at the WKU Soccer Complex. Evansville comes to town, tickets may be purchased at www.wkusports.com.
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