Bowling Green, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University soccer team took to the field for the first exhibition match of the new year against Memphis. The two squads ended the match after regulation in a 0-0 tie.
“I thought we played very well today and we were very well organized defensively,” stated head coach Jason Neidell. “Memphis always has a good team. We definitely showed that we are further along this year than we were last season at this point. We still have a lot of things to work on but I am really proud of our kids effort today.”
WKU was led by sophomore Danielle Hogue and freshman Kaylyn Pratt — who each had three shots at the goal. Pratt, along with four other freshman made their collegiate debut in the match.
“I thought our freshmen showed up to play today and that is great to see for the future, not only this year but long term,” said Neidell.
Freshman Hayley Marsh joined goalkeeper and fellow rookie Libby Stout in a veteran-dominated starting lineup. Kelsey Meyer also made an appearance in the midfield for the Lady Toppers.
Megan Meinke recorded two shots — one of them screaming just by the left post in the first half.
“We wanted to try a lot of different combinations today and we are trying to see who works best with each other on the field,“ remarked Neidell.
Morgan Thomas, Kristin Cocchiarella, Rachel Friedman and Kellie Walker all posted a shot at the net for WKU. Stout collected three saves in her first collegiate start in the goal. Seventeen of the 22 Lady Toppers saw action today.
WKU will be in action again for their final tune-up match against Evansville on Saturday before opening the regular-season against Southeastern Conference member Ole Miss a week from Friday (Aug.22).