WKU plays North Texas to 1-1 draw

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Western Kentucky got an early goal from redshirt-senior Sarah Gorham and turned in one of its best defensive performances of the season Friday to earn a 1-1 draw against No. 24 North Texas at the WKU Soccer Complex.

Western (4-7-3, 2-4-1 Conference USA) picked up a positive result against a ranked opponent for the second time in program history and for the first time since a 1-1 draw against No. 17 California Polytechnic on Sept. 16, 2005. The draw was also the first point that the Lady Toppers have earned against North Texas since joining CUSA in 2014.

Gorham’s 15th-minute goal was enough for the draw and was the first score that North Texas had surrendered in 534 minutes of play. Megan Morris and Ambere Barnett, the reigning CUSA offensive player of the week, picked up assists on the goal. Barnett also tied for the lead among all players with six shots on the night.

Bailee Witt came up with three key first-half saves for the Lady Toppers while playing the full 110 minutes between the posts.

North Texas (9-1-2, 4-0-1 CUSA) had its seven-match winning streak snapped with the result. Aaliyah Nolan led the Mean Green with six shots and paired with Carissa Sanders for the assists on Berklee Peters’ equalizer in the 78th minute.

Kelsey Brann played the full match in goal for the Mean Green, making seven saves and allowing only Gorham’s strike.

Western Kentucky rounds out its four-match homestand at 1 p.m. Sunday against Rice.