WKU Soccer wins C-USA opener in OT at Marshall
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Soccer went down a goal at Marshall on Thursday night early in the second half, but the Lady Toppers scored two goals in the span of almost nine minutes of game time to claim the overtime road win to open Conference USA play.
“We knew this was going to be a challenging game,” said head coach Jason Neidell. “Marshall is a greatly improved squad, and there is just so much parity in this league. It feels awfully good to get three valuable points in the opening match. I’m proud of the determination and character our team showed late to equalize and then get the game-winner in overtime. Now we must get ready for a really good Middle Tennessee team on Sunday.”
The win pushed WKU to 6-1-0 on the season and a perfect 1-0-0 in conference play. The Lady Toppers improve to 14-5-2 in conference openers all-time. WKU is now 8-1-0 against Marshall in program history and have won seven straight against the Thundering Herd.
The first half was a scoreless affair between the two teams. WKU looked like they would strike early when Avery Jacobsen’s long distance free kick in the ninth minute bounced off the crossbar, but a Marshall defender was able to clear the ball before WKU could do any damage. In the 25th minute, WKU had a mounting attack and Lily Rummo got off a shot on target, but the Herd keeper made a diving save to keep a zero on the board for the Lady Toppers.
Marshall struck first in the 55th minute. Down 1-0, WKU was looking for an equalizer and found it in the 82nd minute. Mackenzie Crittenberger fired a shot from distance that hit the goalkeeper square in the gloves. The keeper was unable to secure the ball and it bounced over the goal line.
In overtime, WKU wasted no time in getting the game-winner. Just 23 seconds in, Rummo found herself deep in Marshall territory with the ball and sent a cross into the box where Sophia Fondren finished it off with a header for the golden goal.
It was Crittenberger’s second goal of the season and Fondren’s first of the season and her WKU career. Rummo notched her first assist of the season on Fondren’s goal and Brina Micheels picked up her third of the season on Crittenberger’s.
WKU’s comeback victory was the first time the Lady Toppers have come back to win a match in which they were down since a 2-1 win against Little Rock on Nov. 6, 2013.
The Lady Toppers will be back in action on Sunday against Middle Tennessee at the WKU Soccer Complex. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.
Copyright 2021 WBKO. All rights reserved.