MIAMI, Fla. – Knotted at 0-0 just over 15 minutes into the second half, Hannah Chua netted the match-winner off her head for WKU in a 1-0 victory at FIU on Sunday afternoon, clinching a spot in next month’s C-USA Tournament in Charlotte, N.C., in the process.
Chua’s second goal of the season pushed the Lady Toppers (11-5-0, 6-2-0) back on top of the C-USA standings with 18 points, just ahead of Charlotte and Florida Atlantic who are tied for second with 16 points. Sunday’s shutout was also WKU’s ninth of the season; the Lady Toppers have surrendered just 11 goals during the 2016 season, the lowest mark among all C-USA teams.
Caitlin Hesse led all players with four shots, and Nicole Roseland’s two shots on goal were also the most among all players on Sunday afternoon as WKU outshot the Panthers 16-7 and held them to just three shots on goal. Dee Dee Green and Olivia Fitzgerald each picked up assists on Chua’s match-winning goal.
In goal, Allison Leone earned her eighth solo shutout of the season, making three saves while holding FIU scoreless over the full 90 minutes.
For FIU (2-9-3, 1-4-2), Paula Quintero and Alyssa Robinson each had a pair of shots and one on goal, and Courtney Phillips added the third shot on target for the Panthers. Sophia Trujillo played the full 90 minutes between the posts, allowing Chua’s goal while making five saves.
WKU made a strong offensive push over the opening 10 minutes, firing three shots and earning three corner kicks against FIU’s defense. Hesse, Iris Dunn and Makenzie Costner each had an attempt but could not find the back of the net in the early going of the match.
Just before halftime, Green found space and fired on goal looking to give the Lady Toppers an advantage, but Trujillo was there for the stop as the two sides headed into the locker room in a scoreless draw.
Chua’s header at the 61:19 mark proved to be the match-winner and was set up by Green’s corner kick. The senior played the ball to the far side and Fitzgerald chipped the short pass to Chua for the go-ahead goal to take a 1-0 lead with just under 30 minutes remaining.
FIU’s Robinson nearly found an equalizer in the 87th minute as she tested Leone on a strike, but the junior came up with a big save to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard. Quintero fired a shot wide right less than a minute later, but FIU was unable to muster a late comeback as WKU claimed the victory.
WKU will return to action on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. as the Lady Toppers host UTSA at the WKU Soccer Complex. WKU will look to remain perfect in the series against the Roadrunners after earning a pair of victories since joining C-USA prior to the 2014 season.
Season tickets are available online at WKUSports.com or by phone at 1-800-5-BIGRED. Tickets for the final two remaining regular season home matches against UTSA and Old Dominion are available.
The 2016 WKU Soccer season is being presented by the United States Marines. This season, the Marines and WKU Athletics are working together to promote the outstanding athletic and academic achievements of our female student-athletes. The Marines are proud to work with and support these future leaders of America.