WKU Soccer opens season with shutout win


The 2014/15 WKU sports year is officially underway, and got off to a great start, as the WKU soccer club defeated UT-Martin 1-0 on the Skyhawks field, thanks to a goal in the 39th minute from Haley Baldrige, via Bria Mosley.

While we are just a preseason game into the year, Baldrige’s goal is already a great sign – last year the Lady Tops’ would wait until well into the 70th or 80th minute before scoring, and while Nora Abolins was a stone wall in goal, WKU doesn’t have her services this year, and the earlier and more often WKU scores, the better.

Getting the start in goal tonight was Atlanta product Allison Leone, and kept the two-time OVC champion Skyhawks off the board and made nine saves on the evening, including having to fight off a furious UTM rush in the closing minutes of the game – again, something WKU did a whole lot of last year – but stood tall and made a great first impression.

Exhibition games are to show where your team is weak, and while it’s not a great weakness, it’s certainly something to take away that WKU can work on before Sunday, and that’s creating opportunities – UTM out shot the Tops, including five straight shots in the second half at one point. UTM lead the shot category at halftime, 7-5, and finished the game with an 18-9 advantage and had more set piece opportunities than WKU did, but again, all the credit goes to the WKU defense and freshman goalie Leone for keeping them off the board.

The ladies will have a day off before hosting Murray State on Sunday, where I fully expect the other freshman goalie, Bluegrass native Alex Hoefler, to get the start against the Racers.