WKU overcomes two-goal deficit to draw with Rice

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Western Kentucky trailed by two goals on two separate occasions against Rice on Sunday, but a strong rally over the final 30 minutes of regulation gave the Lady Toppers a 3-3 draw with the visiting Owls at the WKU Soccer Complex.

Goals from Kaylyn Bryant and Olivia Stanley, along with Chandler Backes’ first-half strike, gave WKU (4-7-4, 2-4-2 Conference USA) another critical point in the race to make the CUSA tournament. The draw capped an impressive weekend for the Lady Toppers who earned a point against both the 2017 CUSA regular season (Rice) and tournament (North Texas) champions.

Western peppered the Rice defense with 20 shots Sunday, including eight from reigning CUSA offensive player of the week Ambere Barnett. With her eight shots Sunday, Barnett now has 47 on the season, tied for the 10th-most in a single season by any Lady Topper and the most by a WKU player since Iris Dunn had 51 in 2015.

Bailee Witt played the full 110 minutes in goal and made two saves.

Rice (5-7-3, 3-3-1 CUSA) had goals from Annie Walker and Dominique Mazero as well as an own goal against WKU.

Now on a four-match unbeaten streak, WKU will head south for its final road match of the regular season as the Lady Toppers are set to battle Alabama Birmingham at 7 p.m. Friday.