Monroe, La. — The Western Kentucky University women's soccer team won their tenth straight game Friday afternoon, coming from behind to defeat Louisiana-Monroe 2-1.
With the win, the Lady Toppers extended their school record winning streak and advanced their overall record to 12-1-1, including a perfect 7-0 in conference play. The team's start is the best in WKU history, and has them tied atop the Sun Belt standings with North Texas, who will travel to Bowling Green for a match on Friday, October 26th.
After winning their first six Sun Belt matches by the combined score of 24-1, WKU faced their first deficit of conference play when the Lady Warhawks found the back of the net in the sixth minute to gain a 1-0 advantage. It was the first time the Lady Toppers had fallen behind in a match since Eastern Illinois jumped out to a 1-0 lead on September 16th, a match WKU also came back to win.
"Louisiana-Monroe played us tough," head coach Jason Neidell said. "They took us out of our game forced us to play a style that we didn't want to play."
Kristin Cocchiarella evened the match in the 22nd minute with an unassisted goal off a Lady Warhawk turnover. The goal was the Niceville, Florida native's seventh of the season, tying her for the team lead thus far in 2007, and matching her season total from last year.
With the game tied 1-1 early in the second half, Lindsey Passaglia found the foot of Mallory Outerbridge in the 52nd minute for what ended up being the match-winning goal.
It was Outerbridge's seventh goal of the season, which ties her with Cocchiarella for the team lead. The Regina, Saskatchewan native now has four match-winning goals on the year, putting her in a four-way tie atop the WKU records in that category. Betsy Duncan was the most recent Lady Topper to net four match-winners in a season, accomplishing the feat in 2004.
Meredith Goodson and the Lady Topper defense held the rest of the way, holding UL-Monroe to just five shots in the second half. Goodson totaled seven saves on the day, with five coming in the first half.
WKU outshot UL-Monroe 23-13, with 13 of their shots coming on goal. Outerbridge had four shots on goal, while Cocchiarella and Alicia Dalby both had two.
The loss dropped the Lady Warhawks to 2-4-1 in Sun Belt play, and 6-9-1 overall.
"I'm proud of our girls for finding a way come back in the second half," Neidell stated. "We're glad to have the win, but we're now focusing on Sunday's match."
The Lady Toppers will continue their tour through Louisiana when they take on Louisiana Lafayette Sunday at 1 p.m. (CDT). The Ragin Cajuns came into the weekend tied for fourth in the Sun Belt with an overall record of 7-5-3, including 3-1-2 in conference action.