BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Freshman Ambere Barnett shined on WKU’s Senior Night on Friday
evening, scoring a pair of goals to lead the Lady Toppers over Marshall, 2-0, at the
WKU Soccer Complex.
WKU’s four seniors; Sarah Gorham, Nicole Roseland, Hannah Cady and Megan Morris;
were honored in a postmatch ceremony that included their friends and family, the WKU
coaching staff and support staff, Director of Athletics Todd Stewart and WKU
President Dr. Timothy C. Caboni.
WKU (5-8-4, 3-5-2 C-USA) completed only the second unbeaten season on its home field
in program history, finishing with a 4-0-4 record at the Soccer Complex this season.
Only once before, during the 2008 campaign, had the Lady Toppers previously
accomplished that feat. The Lady Toppers finish the 2018 season with an 11-match
unbeaten streak at home, the second-longest active streak among C-USA programs.
Barnett led all players with seven shots on the evening, putting four of those on
goal en route to her two-goal outing. The dynamic freshman finishes her first season
on The Hill with seven goals, eight assists and 22 total points, tied for the
seventh-most points by an individual in a single season in WKU Soccer history.
Roseland, Olivia Stanley and Avery Jacobsen contributed WKU’s assists on the night,
while Bailee Witt picked up her second solo shutout in goal, playing the full 90
minutes while making three saves to preserve the clean sheet.
For Marshall (5-9-3, 3-6-1 C-USA), Gabby Powers and Rene Ross led the way with three
shots apiece, and Jenna Zuzolo placed two shots on goal. Megan Bonelli played the
full match between the posts for the Thundering Herd, making six saves while giving
up WKU’s two goals.
WKU came out firing in the first 15 minutes, getting chances from Stanley, Roseland
and Barnett in the early goings of the match. None of the trio were able to put
their chances on target, but the early pressure forced the Marshall defense on its
heels as the Thundering Herd attempted to fend off the powerful Lady Topper attack.
A flurry of four corner kicks in a six-minute span gave Marshall a chance to move in
front, but the WKU defense fended off each set piece opportunity while not
surrendering a single shot on goal. Two shots were blocked away by WKU defenders,
while three others sailed wide or high of the goal to maintain the early deadlock.
A strong buildup from the midfield handed WKU its first goal of the evening at the
25:11 mark as Barnett struck from point-blank range to put WKU up 1-0. Roseland
played a long ball up the left side to Stanley, who collected the pass and sent in a
cross from the left wing that found the foot of Barnett. The freshman immediately
turned and slotted home a low shot past the goalkeeper for her sixth goal of the
Chandler Backes had a one-on-one opportunity that was saved by Bonelli with just
over five minutes remaining in the first half, and the two sides headed into the
locker room with the Lady Toppers holding a 1-0 lead after the first 45 minutes.
Barnett and Chelsea Moore came out of the break with a pair of shots on goal in the
early minutes of the second half, though neither was able to increase WKU’s lead on
the chances. In the 59th minute, WKU was whistled for a foul inside the box,
awarding the Thundering Herd with a penalty kick. Ashley Seltzer lined up the spot
kick seeking the equalizer, but skied the kick well over the crossbar as WKU held
onto its 1-0 advantage.
WKU netted the insurance goal and doubled its lead with 71:09 on the clock, once
again off the foot of Barnett. Set up by a strong shot by Jacobsen after a long run,
the freshman collected the rebound after it bounced off the Marshall goalkeeper’s
hands and fired her second goal of the contest to increase the lead to 2-0 with
under 20 minutes remaining.
In the closing minutes of the season, WKU’s defense held strong and did not allow
Marshall to take a shot on goal to close out the 2-0 season-ending victory.