BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Riding a four-match unbeaten streak following a pair of draws
last weekend, WKU will look to continue its push for a C-USA Tournament berth on
Friday evening at 7 p.m. as the Lady Toppers travel to Birmingham, Ala., to battle
Friday’s tilt will be WKU’s first match away from home since Sept. 30 at Old
Dominion, and the Lady Toppers (4-7-4, 2-4-2 C-USA) will be seeking their first
victory away from the WKU Soccer Complex since a 4-1 win over Evansville on Aug. 23.
Should WKU come away with a win or a draw against the Blazers (7-6-1, 4-3 C-USA),
the Lady Toppers would have their first five-match unbeaten streak since the 2016
campaign, when WKU won five straight matches from Sept. 11 through Sept. 30.
Currently, the Lady Toppers sit just outside the eighth and final qualifying spot
for the 2018 C-USA Tournament, set to be hosted by Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. WKU
has eight points with two matches remaining, with Old Dominion and Rice tied for the
eighth spot with 10 points apiece.
Freshman Ambere Barnett, who leads the Lady Toppers in nearly every offensive
category, has already placed her name into the WKU record book for two different
marks. Barnett has 47 shots this season, tied for the 10th-most in program history
in one campaign, and her seven assists are tied for the fourth-most in a single
season; Barnett’s seven assists are also the most by any Lady Topper since Kellie
Walker set the school record with 12 in 2009.
Sarah Gorham has also turned in one of her best seasons on The Hill, with five goals
and two assists. Three of Gorham’s five goals have been match-winners for the Lady
Toppers, and four of her five strikes have come in the four most recent matches for
WKU. For her career, Gorham has tallied nine goals and seven assists.
Defensively, Kaylyn Bryant, Christina Bragado and Avery Jacobsen have provided the
backbone of WKU’s back line this season, each playing more than 1,300 minutes out of
a possible 1,436. The trio has helped to hold eight of WKU’s opponents to one goal
or fewer, including limited the powerful attack of then-No. 24 North Texas to just
one goal on Oct. 12. In goal, Bailee Witt has made 54 saves and earned her first
solo shutout against FIU on Oct. 5.
UAB has scored just 12 goals this season across 14 contests, with a team-best seven
of those from Kamilah Mustafa. Jamiera Lunsford (three) and Caroline Kehrer (two)
round out the Blazers’ trio that has found the back of the net in 2018. Betsy
Ornelas and Megan Hudgens have each served up a team-best three assists, and Mustafa
leads the way with 15 total points.
In goal, Kelsey Daugherty has played all 1,278 minutes for UAB, totaling 74 saves,
five shutouts and sporting a goals against average of only 1.06, giving up just 15
WKU owns a 2-1-1 all-time record against UAB, with the two sides meeting once in
each of the last four seasons since the Lady Toppers joined C-USA. WKU will be
seeking its first victory in Birmingham, however, after a 1-1 draw in 2015 and a 2-0
setback to close the regular season last year.
Following Friday’s match, WKU will have only its regular season finale remaining as
the Lady Toppers host Marshall next Friday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. for Senior Night at
the WKU Soccer Complex. Gorham, Megan Morris, Nicole Roseland and Hannah Cady will
each be honored for their contributions to the program as the Lady Toppers clash
with the Thundering Herd, potentially with a spot in the C-USA Tournament on the