HATTIESBURG, Miss. – On the road for its second straight match to open C-USA play,
WKU fought for 110 minutes on Thursday evening at the Southern Miss Soccer Complex,
but neither side was able to come away with a decisive goal in the scoreless draw.
Thursday’s result was WKU’s first scoreless draw since battling to a 0-0 tie against
Florida Atlantic at the WKU Soccer Complex on Oct. 29, 2015, and marked the first
time since Oct. 11 and Oct. 16, 2015, that the Lady Toppers (3-5-1, 0-1-1 C-USA)
have played consecutive double overtime outings.
Six different Lady Toppers notched a pair of shots on the night as WKU put six of
its 17 chances on target. Hannah Chua, Chandler Backes, Sarah Gorham and Victoria
Mayo all had two shots and also placed one shot on goal, while Megan Morris and
Hannah Cady rounded out the group who successfully tested the Southern Miss
WKU’s defense held stout for all 110 minutes, refusing to concede a goal to the
Golden Eagles. Nicole Roseland played the full match from her holding midfielder
position, and just behind her Christina Bragado anchored the back line as its center
back for the entire outing. WKU held Southern Miss well below its season averages in
both shots and shots on goal, limiting the Golden Eagles to just 14 and 7,
respectively, in each category.
In goal, Allison Leone earned the 25th solo shutout of her career and dropped her
goals against average this season to 0.86 through nine matches. The senior finished
the evening with seven saves, the last of which came to start the first overtime
period, denying Southern Miss’ Becky McMullan just 40 seconds into the first extra
For Southern Miss (6-3-1, 0-1-1 C-USA), McMullan had a match-high three shots and a
pair of shots on goal; she was joined by teammate Kierstin Bradley who also tested
Leone twice on the night. In goal, Kelly Brahmbhatt played the full 110 minutes for
the Golden Eagles with six saves to pick up the solo shutout.
Both sides traded early opportunities in the first five minutes of the match,
pressing both goalkeepers into action. Just over 90 seconds after the first kick,
Southern Miss’ Kaitlin Fayard launched a shot on goal that was parried away by
Leone; three minutes later, Morris found herself with space in the offensive half
and fired on goal, only to be denied by Brahmbhatt to maintain the early deadlock.
Southern Miss had two more chances midway through the opening half, but each time
Leone stepped up to halt the Golden Eagles’ attack. In the 26th minute, she stopped
Bradley on her first chance of the night, then denied a headed effort, also from
Bradley, just six minutes later.
The best chance for either side came at the 42:30 mark just before the halftime
break. Southern Miss was called for a foul inside the box, setting up the Lady
Toppers with their third penalty kick try of the season. Gorham lined up the chance,
but Brahmbhatt made the stop and controlled the ball to send the sides into the
halftime break knotted at 0-0.
Two shots seven minutes apart early in the second half nearly pulled the Lady
Toppers in front. Cady had the first attempt stopped by Brahmbhatt in the 57th
minute before Chua found the ball in space at the 63:52 mark, only to again have the
goalkeeper come up with another save.
With the minutes winding down in regulation, Leone made two strong saves to ensure
the match would head to overtime, first denying Katie Richmond with just under five
minutes left and then corralling McMullan’s effort as time expired.
In the overtime periods, the only shots on goal by either side both came in the
first three minutes of the first frame. McMullan again had a chance to win the match
for the Golden Eagles after 40 seconds but was shut down by Leone, while Mayo tested
Brahmbhatt at the 92:51 mark but could not find the back of the net.
With its two-match road trip to open C-USA play concluded, WKU will return to the
friendly confines of the WKU Soccer Complex next Thursday evening at 7 p.m. to
square off against Rice. In last year’s meeting between the two sides in Houston,
the Lady Toppers earned their first-ever victory over the Owls, holding them without
a goal in a 1-0 shutout victory.