Blue Raiders battle Oklahoma to scoreless draw

Downs, Howells all-tournament

September 23, 2007 · MT Media Relations
NORMAN, Okla. - Middle Tennessee's soccer team did not pick up a win at the Sooner Invitational Sunday but it did receive a big boost of confidence after playing to a 0-0 tie against host Oklahoma.

The Blue Raiders (3-3-2), one match after falling 5-1 to eventual tournament champion Long Beach State, put together one of their best defensive contests on the way to the scoreless tie in an impressive showing against the Sooners (4-2-2).

"It was a very well-played match on both sides and an evenly-played match," Middle Tennessee coach Aston Rhoden said. "I was proud of how our players responded from a tough loss and played so well against a good Oklahoma team on its home field in its tournament. We can build on this going into (Sun Belt) conference play next weekend."

Middle Tennessee freshmen Kelly Downs and Fran Howells were named to the All-Tournament team. It marks the second all-tournament team Howells has made in her rookie season.

Defense dominated the match and there were few scoring opportunities. Middle Tennessee finished with six shots on goal while Oklahoma had eight.

Blue Raider keeper Erynn Murray had one of her best games in goal at Middle Tennessee with seven saves and the shutout. Her play was complimented by outstanding work by the midfielders and across the back.

Middle Tennessee will play host to Florida Atlantic in the conference opener Friday at 7 p.m.

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