BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU completed the opening weekend of the Sun Belt Conference play 2-0 following a 5-0 blanking of Arkansas-Little Rock at the WKU Soccer Complex on Sunday. It was the third straight win and shutout for the Lady Toppers.
WKU (7-3-0, 2-0-0) has now shutout five straight opponents in Sun Belt Conference play and nine of their last 11 SBC opponents overall. WKU has recorded five shutouts in 2012 and 17 in the last two seasons combined.
The win aided the continuance of a recent string of dominance for Western Kentucky University in fall team sports in Sun Belt Conference play. Since Sept. 30, 2011, WKU's soccer, volleyball and football teams have a combined 35-3-3 record against SBC competition. WKU Soccer is 10-1-3 during the time period and are unbeaten in their last seven SBC outings. WKU Volleyball is 18-1 in SBC play during the span, including 16 consecutive wins. WKU Football is 7-1 since Sept. 30, 2011, having won their last seven conference games.
Sophomore Nicholette Sartori (Malabar, Fla.) found the back of the goal in the seventh minute after hooking up with Amanda Buechel (Cincinnati, Ohio) to open the scoring for the Lady Toppers. It was the fifth time this season that WKU has scored in the first seven minutes of a game.
Buechel added her third goal of the weekend and brought her weekend point total to seven in the 27th minute when Chrissy Tchoula (Noblesville, Ind.) connected with the Lady Toppers' leading scorer.
Sartori added her third goal of the season in the 62nd minute.
Freshman Lauren Moats (Nixa, Mo.) added a pair of late goals, included a beautiful header in the 71st minute off passes from senior Christen Sims (Madison, Ala.) and Haley Haffner (Noblesville, Ind.), to put the game away.
The Lady Toppers' five goals were the most since a 5-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Oct. 15, 2010. The mark was just one off the school record for a conference outing.
WKU swept its opening weekend of Sun Belt Conference competition for the first time since 2007 when the Lady Toppers won the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship. It marks the fifth time in program history that WKU has started conference play 2-0.
Freshman keeper Nikki Hall (Cincinnati, Ohio) faced just three shots in the game and just one on goal as the WKU back line led by senior tri-capatain Ali Stahlke (Naperville, Ill.) helped give the Lady Toppers their fifth shutout of the year. Only two teams have scored more than one goal against the Lady Toppers this season. Hall has now played 720 consecutive minutes in goal for the Lady Toppers.
WKU returns to the field next weekend with a two-match swing through the Sunshine State. WKU faces Florida Atlantic on Friday, Sept. 28 at 6:00pm CT before traveling to Florida International on Sunday at noon CT.
WKU next's home match is Oct. 12, 2012 against South Alabama at the WKU Soccer Complex. First touch is set for 6:00 p.m. Single game tickets are available through the WKU Ticket Office by calling 270-745-5222 or 1-800-5-BIG-RED. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.wkusports.com. In addition, a game ticket package with nine vouchers that can be used for any game during the 2012 season are available for just $25 through the ticket office.