Blue Raiders Fall Short

October 17, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Denver's Jenni Harris netted a hat trick, scoring the final two goals after Middle Tennessee tied the match in the second half, as the visiting Pioneers defeated the home team, 4-2, Friday afternoon at Blue Raider Field.

Denver (11-2-0, 3-1-0 SBC) jumped out to an early lead, only to watch Middle Tennessee (8-6-0, 3-1-0) erase the deficit with a goal late in the first half and another 15 minutes into the second period. But Harris scored twice in a 15-minute span midway through the second half to give the Pioneers the victory.

In the seventh minute a ball ricocheted off several players and played through toward the Middle Tennessee goal with Harris chasing. The DU forward looked to be offsides but the referee signaled to play on, and Harris did, running down the ball and beating Blue Raider keeper Danielle Perreault for a 1-0 Pionner advantage. Perreault injured a shoulder on the play and missed the next 21 minutes of action.

The Blue Raiders defended their goal well until the 27th minute, when Lleane Grimditch retrieved a ball on a breakaway and beat backup keeper Caroline Schuepbach for a 2-0 DU lead.

But Middle Tennessee continued to fight and eventually found the net in the 40th minute. Junior Jessica Northcutt headed in a corner kick from Christina Mascaro, cutting the deficit in half and giving the Blue Raiders much-needed life at halftime.

Northcutt played a role in the tying goal as well, but it was Blue Raider freshman Rebecca Rodriguez who did most of the work.

After a corner kick, the Pioneers cleared the ball forward where Northcutt ran it down and chipped over the defense toward the far post. Rodriguez ran down the bouncing ball, chipping it back and over a defender, then flicking it past DU keeper Danielle Wiley in the 60th minute for a tie match.

Rodriguez tallied her ninth score of the season, moving the Dallas, Texas, native into a tie for fifth with current teammates Laura Miguez and Emily Carter, as well as Lisa Langrish, on the single-season goals list at Middle Tennessee.

But the Pioneers responded quickly, as Laura Mann fed Harris in the 63rd minute for her second goal of the match, a blast from 15 yards into the back of the net. Melissa Behrent tallied the final assist of the match, feeding Harris in the 77th minute for another blast, this one from just outside the box and giving the Pioneers the 4-2 victory.

Perreault missed almost 21 minutes of play but made three saves, while Schuepbach totaled one save in her most extensive action of the season. The Pioneers played all but the first 10 minutes of the match without senior all-conference forward Mychael Movius, who tweaked an already hurting knee during a scrum in front of the net on a corner kick in the first half. DU also played without head coach Jeff Hooker, who sat out the match because of a red card last week in a loss at North Texas.

The Blue Raiders host conference-leading North Texas Sunday at 1 p.m. at Blue Raider Field before the final home match of the season the following Sunday, October 26, versus Samford.

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