WLU women’s soccer season overview

Bernardo Vilchis goes against two Wesleyan defenders.

The West Liberty University women’s soccer team kicked off Mountain East Conference (MEC) play. For the Lady Hilltoppers, they have seen quite the success they have been aiming for against conference foes early on, posting a 3-1-1 record through five games.

Conference play first opened for the Lady Hilltoppers against Glenville State College (1-5), which was an absolute thriller to say the least. Following an opening 1-0 loss against Seton Hill (3-2), the Hilltoppers bounced back thanks to great team play and a goal from Anne Williams. Williams, off a free kick, rifled a ball that curves right past Glenville keeper Mikayala Brown to give West Liberty the lead 1-0. This goal ultimately proved to be the winner for the squad, as they received strong backing from their defense and goaltender Olivia Montgomery, who made two saves on three shots.

Following the win, the Lady Toppers had a very hard fought draw against the reigning MEC champs, Notre Dame College of Ohio (1-2-2) that featured 15 combined shots between the two teams, including four on goal for West Liberty. If it were not for the heroics of Notre Dame keeper Jordan Pasalaqua, there could have easily been a much different result.

A heavy slugfest against Alderson Broaddus (1-4) was where Hilltopper fans truly witnessed the grit the Lady Toppers possessed, in which that grit ultimately resulted in one of the best wins the Hilltoppers have seen thus far. With Alderson Broaddus striking the first very early in the tenth minute courtesy of Iris Jimenez, West Liberty found themselves in an early hole. However, they settled down, and bounced back with an incredible goal by Isabella Aperfine to tie the game at 1-1 coming out of the first half during the forty sixth minute.

They continued the ferocious roll through the second half, and found themselves logging an incredible finish thanks to Kaelyn Oskin scoring a goal in the eighty sixth minute. West Liberty logged a total of sixteen shots, including six on goal, and found the one that counted most late in the game to improve in the conference standings.

The game to follow was an unfortunate one for West Liberty, as they fell to Frostburg State University (4-2-1) by the score of 3-0. Montgomery did all she could to help her squad, logging ten saves, but unfortunately the team came up short.

They bounced back in a terrific way against Fairmont State University (2-3) this past Saturday, winning by the final score of 2-1. The Lady Toppers once again came out of the gate rather slow, conceding a goal to Fairmont’s Kiera Kuzinski in the fifteenth minute, but rallied back like they have shown to do once again. Oskin once again got the Toppers where they needed to be, striking for a goal during the twenty ninth minute.

Out of half, WLU continued their pace, as Aperfine gave the Hilltoppers the ultimate game winning goal at the fifty first minute mark. While the Hilltoppers logged a total of ten shots and five of those on goal, Montgomery helped hold off Fairmont State, making four saves in the process.

With the Lady Hilltoppers now positioned in third in the MEC North Division with a 3-2-1 record, including 2-1-1 against conference opponents. Oskin and Aperfine have been leading the way for the Hilltoppers, both have logged two goals and an assist. Montgomery poses an impressive .96 goals against average, which includes five goals against on 45 shots and 17 saves including a shutout.

The Hilltoppers will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 29 against Wheeling University at 5 p.m. on the campus of West Liberty. Make sure to come out and support the team!