Blue Raiders hurdle road obstacle at FIU

Grogan scores twice as MT opens SBC play 2-0

September 24, 2006 · MT Media Relations

MIAMI - Holly Grogan provided her sixth career multi-goal game to help Middle Tennessee clear a major road obstacle in a 2-0 blanking of Florida International here Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders (8-2, 2-0) opened Sun Belt Conference play with consecutive road wins by collecting their first-ever road win against the Golden Panthers. Middle Tennessee was 0-4-1 in five previous matches in Miami but hurdled the road block to secure its ninth consecutive regular season league win, dating to last season.

"We talked about ending the curse because we had not won at Florida International," Middle Tennessee coach Aston Rhoden said. "Anytime you can win two conference road games during a weekend in our league it is a big accomplishment because it is difficult. I was pleased with how the team came out focused and played solidly throughout after a very intense game Friday. We put together two impressive matches on the road and that's always a good thing. It was nice to finally get a win in Miami."

Middle Tennessee started league play 2-0 for the first time since 2003 and only the third time in program history with another sterling defensive performance and well-timed Grogan goals. The junior forward scored three of Middle Tennessee's four goals during the weekend swing and was credited with the second game-winner of the season and the ninth of her career to move into first on the all-time list in that category.

The Blue Raiders struck quickly when Grogan received a Rebecca Rodriguez cross from the left side and volleyed in at the far post in the fifth minute to provide Middle Tennessee a swift 1-0 lead that would stand until the half. Grogan gave the Blue Raiders a big insurance goal in the 59th minute when she made a run from the right side and delivered a shot into the lower left far corner for a 2-0 lead and her sixth career multi-goal game. Mary Zapapas was credited with her first career assist on the play.

The goal was the 24th of Grogan's career, moving her past Emily Carter into fourth on the all-time list. She also moved into third on the career points list with 61.

Middle Tennessee's defense continued to dazzle with its third shutout of the season. Freshman keeper Erynn Murray was in goal for the shutout and her third career win. Senior defenders Katy Rayburn and Sara Wohlhueter have been on the field for 25 career shutouts and they were part of another dynamic performance Sunday as the Blue Raiders allowed just four shots.

The Blue Raiders play host to South Alabama in the home SBC opener Friday at Blue Raider Field.

NOTES: Middle Tennessee won its ninth consecutive regular season SBC match ... The win was Middle Tennessee's first against Florida International in Miami in six tries ... The Blue Raiders opened league play 2-0 for the first time since 2003 and only the third time in program history ... Holly Grogan collected her sixth multi-goal game. She moved into third on the career points list (61), fourth on the career goals list (24), and fourth on the career assists list (13) during the weekend sweep ... Mary Zapapas provided her first career assist.

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