BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Looking to claim their second regular season Sun Belt Conference championship in program history, WKU opens conference play this weekend hosting Arkansas State (Friday at 6:00pm) and Arkansas-Little Rock (Sunday at 1:00pm) at the WKU Soccer Complex.
The Lady Toppers (5-3-0) have been among the class of the Sun Belt Conference in recent seasons. Since the start of the 2007 season, WKU has separated itself from the rest of pack among active Sun Belt Conference teams. The 37 conference wins and .706 overall winning percentage entering the 2012 season lead the conference while the program's 65 overall wins are the second most in the league since the start of the 2007 season overall. WKU has appeared in the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in two of the last four years and won at least 13 games in four of the last five seasons.
WKU will begin conference play this week looking to improve on a 7-2-2 all-time record in Sun Belt Conference openers. WKU is 4-1-1 in its last six conference lid-lifters. If WKU is able to sweep it's opening weekend of conference competition, it would make the first sweep to open the season since 2007 and fifth in program history.
WKU put together a successful non-conference regular season, posting a 5-3 record with the only losses coming against Southeastern Conference and Big Ten Conference opponents.
In its most recent outing, Western Kentucky University posted its third shutout of the season and ended non-conference play on a high note, recording a 1-0 win over Belmont on Sept. 15 at the WKU Soccer Complex. Junior Andrea Curry (Fairfield, Ohio) scored her first career goal in the 38th minute that would become the game winner. It was the second time this season that Curry had been part of a game-winning goal after recording an assist on the winning goal against Bowling Green earlier this season.
WKU held six of their eight non-conference opponents to one goal or less in the regular season and have suffered just four defeats in their last 20 outings (13-4-3).
Arkansas State (6-3-0) has won four of their last five games. The Red Wolves have had nine different goal scorers in seven games, led by Christine Fink's three goals. WKU leads the all-time series 11-0-1, including two consecutive wins since a 1-1 tie in two overtimes in the 2009 conference tournament. Two of the last three games in the series have reached overtime, including last year's 3-2 double overtime victory for the Lady Toppers in Bowling Green.
Arkansas-Little Rock (1-7-0) has split its most recent two games. UALR faces off with MTSU on Friday, Sept. 21 before making the trip to Bowling Green. UALR's Ariel Galletti has a team high six points this season, including two goals and two assists. WKU leads the series 10-1, having won six consecutive games in the series. WKU has outscored UALR 18-1 in the last six games between the teams. In last year's meeting between the teams, redshirt-senior forward Mallory Outerbridge became the Western Kentucky University soccer team's all-time leader in goals scored as her tally in the 61st minute gave the Lady Toppers a 1-0 win over Arkansas-Little Rock at the WKU Soccer Complex on Sept. 30, 2011.
Single game tickets are available through the WKU Ticket Office by calling 270-745-5222 or 1-800-5-BIG-RED. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.wkusports.com. In addition, a game ticket package with nine vouchers that can be used for any game during the 2012 season are available for just $25 through the ticket office.
For complete coverage of WKU Soccer, visit the official website of WKU Athletics at www.wkusports.com.