Western Kentucky’s offense shined for the second straight match, firing three first-half goals as the Lady Toppers held back a furious Texas El Paso comeback attempt in the second half to earn a 4-3 victory at the WKU Soccer Complex on Sunday.
Freshman Ambere Barnett continued her dynamic debut season on The Hill, playing a role in all four WKU (4-7-2, 2-4 Conference USA) goals. Barnett scored the first and third goals herself while assisting on Sarah Gorham’s pair of goals, including what would become the match-winner in the 56th minute.
Following Sunday’s match, Barnett leads the Lady Toppers in goals (five), assists (five) and total points (15) through 13 matches.
Gorham’s pair of goals capped a strong weekend for the Lexington native who also had the match-winning goal Friday against Florida International. Gorham led all players with four shots on the afternoon and played the entire 90 minutes despite the unseasonal heat.
In goal, Bailee Witt earned her fourth victory of the year and made three saves while playing the full 90 minutes between the pipes.
For UTEP (6-7-1, 1-4 CUSA), Lauren Crenshaw put all three of her shot attempts on goal and scored the Miners’ final goal directly off a free kick in the 84th minute. Alyssa Palacios played the opening half in goal and took the loss while making a pair of saves, and Caley Leask relieved her for the second half, also making two saves and giving up one goal.
Following its weekend sweep of FIU and UTEP, WKU has secured six points in the race for the CUSA tournament and will continue its homestand with two matches next weekend. First, the Lady Toppers will battle North Texas at 6 p.m. Friday then will welcome Rice to the Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. Sunday.