Story by Jacob Young / Staff Writer | Photo by Brent Beerends / MT Athletics
Middle Tennessee (3-8-1, 1-4 C-USA) soccer dropped its fourth straight game Friday night in a 1-0 loss to Western Kentucky (9-4, 4-1 C-USA) in Bowling Green. Sophomore Celeste Barnard made her first career start as goalkeeper for the Blue Raiders, saving six-of-seven shots on goal.
Barnard was able to keep the game scoreless after a strong early push from WKU, but the Hilltoppers put a header in the net in the 39th minute.
MTSU, however, was unable to put the same pressure on WKU. On the night, the Bule Raiders registered only two shots on goal through the 90-minute battle. The Blue Raiders had a couple scoring opportunities towards the end of the first half with two shot attempts, including one on goal from standout Abbie Brown.
After netting two goals last game, Middle Tennessee’s Haley Nishimoto came out of halftime with a scoring mentality. Nishimoto took two shots in the first six minutes of the second half but neither of which were able to slip past WKU.
The remainder of the game was a scrappy battle but the Blue Raiders couldn’t find the back of the net when it mattered the most. With the win, Western Kentucky now sits one game behind first place in the conference rankings.
The Blue Raiders will get a few hours of rest before heading to Huntington, West Virginia to take on Marshall Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.