BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – The 2023 WKU soccer schedule has been released by head coach Jason Neidell, who is in his 23rd season with the Lady Toppers.
The slate includes a total of 19 matches with two preseason exhibitions and 17 regular season games.
The Lady Toppers will take on a pair of NCAA Tournament teams and a pair of teams that were regular season champions in their respective conferences. WKU will also face six first-time opponents, three being new Conference USA teams.
“We are excited about the new conference alignment and feel that we have put together a balanced and competitive non-conference slate that will prepare us well,” said Neidell. “It will also be fun to have six first time opponents!”
WKU opens the season with a pair of road exhibitions at first-time opponent Chattanooga (Aug. 5) and at Belmont (Aug. 10). The Lady Toppers will open the season at home on Aug. 17 against Tennessee Tech, a team WKU tied (1-1) in 2022 in Cookeville, Tennessee. The Golden Eagles were the 2022 regular season champion in the OVC in 2022.
That match starts a six-game homestand for WKU that runs through the beginning of September. During that span, the Lady Toppers will host Union (Aug. 19), Siena (Aug. 24), Xavier (Aug. 27), North Alabama (Sept. 1) and Belmont (Sept. 3).
The Lady Toppers notched a 5-0 win against Union in 2022. It will be the first meeting between WKU and Siena all-time. WKU dropped a 1-0 decision at Xavier last season. The Musketeers went unbeaten in Big East play last season and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament where they advanced to the second round.
WKU last faced North Alabama in the spring of 2021. The Lady Toppers have faced Belmont eight times in program history and have a 6-0-2 record against the Bruins all-time.
The Lady Toppers will have their first regular season road match on Sept. 7 at Evansville. WKU has not played the Purple Aces since 2018. The Lady Toppers will stay in the Hoosier State to take on Purdue in West Lafayette on Sept. 10. The two teams haven’t played since the 2006 season.
The first C-USA match of the season will come on Sept. 14 against Middle Tennessee at the WKU Soccer Complex. The Lady Toppers will take on new conference opponent Jacksonville State on Sept. 24 on the road. The two teams have not played since the 2006 season. WKU will round out the month of September with a home match against FIU on the 29th.
The Lady Toppers will open October with the final non-conference match of the season with Chicago State coming to Bowling Green on the first. It will be the first meeting between the two teams. WKU will pick back up with conference play on Oct. 7 at UTEP and then return home to face Louisiana Tech on Oct. 12.
WKU will close out the regular season with three first time opponents. The Lady Toppers will travel for matches at Sam Houston State (Oct. 15) and at Liberty (Oct. 21) and close out the slate at home against New Mexico State (Oct. 27). Liberty went 14-3-4 last season and was the regular season champion in the Atlantic Sun. New Mexico State won the WAC tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
The C-USA Championship will be played in Ruston, Louisiana on Nov. 1-5.
All WKU Soccer home matches are played at the WKU Soccer Complex and are free to attend.
The Lady Toppers will have a new home in 2023 with the official opening of the WKU Soccer/Softball Complex scheduled for this fall.
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