BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Soccer will be on the road for its second straight match on
Thursday afternoon, making the trip to Hattiesburg, Miss., to square off against
C-USA foe Southern Miss in a matinee battle at 4 p.m.
Follow the game here.
The Lady Toppers (3-5, 0-1 C-USA) will be seeking to bounce back from a 1-0 double
overtime defeat in their C-USA opener at Old Dominion last Friday evening. WKU
battled throughout the match and had opportunities to net what would have been the
match-winning goal, but the Monarchs’ Kyra Ricks ricocheted a shot off the left post
and into the back of the net in the 105th minute to seal the decision.
Southern Miss (6-3, 0-1 C-USA) also opened C-USA play in its last time out on Sept.
17, hosting UTEP at the Southern Miss Soccer Complex in a 1-0 setback. The Golden
Eagles fought to a scoreless draw for much of the match, but UTEP tallied the
match-winner in the 89th minute to come away with the road victory.
Offensively, the trio of Chandler Backes, Hannah Chua and Sarah Gorham have led the
attack for the Lady Toppers, combining for 46 of the team’s 87 shots thus far on the
season; of those 46 attempts, 21 shots have been on goal, with eight coming from
Backes, seven from Gorham and six from Chua. Backes continues to lead the squad with
four goals and 10 total points while also dishing out a team-best pair of assists.
Freshman Deven Jackson has provided an offensive spark for the Lady Toppers over the
last two weeks. Although she has not scored, the Auckland, New Zealand, native has
been very close, striking the crossbar with just over 15 minutes remaining at Old
Dominion; the first-year player also notched her first collegiate point on Sept. 3
against Evansville, playing a through-ball to set up one of Backes’ two goals.
On defense, Christina Bragado has started all eight matches at her center back
position, with Nicole Roseland also in the starting lineup in every match thus far
as a holding midfielder; Aleksandra Kozovic, Megan Morris and Kaylyn Bryant have
also seen extensive playing time along the back line, appearing in all eight matches
with seven starts apiece. The Lady Toppers have allowed just eight goals this season
and have not surrendered any more than two in a single contest.
Between the posts, Allison Leone has played all but nine minutes for the Lady
Toppers this season and owns a 0.99 goals against average with 37 total saves. The
senior has made 262 career saves and enters Thursday’s match with 24 solo shutouts,
marks that rank third and second in program history, respectively.
For the Golden Eagles, Becky McMullan has tallied a team-best five goals and leads
the squad with 13 total points; Miah Zuazua sits just behind with a pair of goals
and eight points. Five other players; Kierstin Bradley (3), Ola Akinniyi (3),
Stephanie Garcia (2), Beth Coleman (2) and Mariana Mejia (2); have scored multiple
goals for Southern Miss.
In goal, Kelly Brahmbhatt and Kendell Mindnich have split time for Southern Miss;
Brahmbhatt has made six starts and 23 total saves, while Mindnich has one start and
10 saves, but has allowed 14 goals.
WKU will be seeking to remain perfect in its series against the Golden Eagles on
Thursday afternoon, holding a 2-0 record against Southern Miss. The Lady Toppers
earned a 2-0 win in Hattiesburg on Oct. 26, 2014, before claiming a 1-0 shutout
victory in Bowling Green on Sept. 22, 2016, last season.
Following Thursday’s match, the Lady Toppers will remain off the pitch for a week
before returning to the friendly confines of the WKU Soccer Complex next Thursday
evening, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. against Rice. Last season, WKU earned its first-ever
victory over the Owls with a 1-0 shutout in Houston on Sept. 30.