Soccer suffers another tough setback

Blue Raiders fall 2-1 at S. Alabama

October 5, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MOBILE, Ala. - Middle Tennessee's scoring difficulties continued as the team opened its weekend swing with a 2-1 setback at South Alabama here Friday night.

The usually potent Blue Raider (4-5-2, 1-2-0) offense has been limited to one goal or less seven times in 11 matches this season including four of the last five. Most frustrating for Coach Aston Rhoden is the fact his team is getting scoring opportunities but is just off the mark. Furthermore, the Blue Raiders are playing well enough to win, particularly from a defensive standpoint, as the unit has limited the opposition to one goal or less six times.

The end result has been tough losses and Friday night's setback was yet another as the team realized its fourth loss by one goal. Middle Tennessee had 16 shots on goal to South Alabama's four but the Jaguars capitalized on two of theirs while the Blue Raiders misfired on 15.

"All losses are difficult but these are even more gut-wrenching because we have so many opportunities and we just aren't finishing," Rhoden said. "We gave ourselves a chance again tonight against a good South Alabama team but we couldn't get the win in the end. We just have to keep working to find ways to put the ball in the net."

The defensive showcase was a scoreless stalemate through the first half as each stingy unit denied the other with Blue Raider keeper Erynn Murray and South Alabama keeper Kelsie Langford battling in goal.

South Alabama (7-3-1, 2-1-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Tiara Smith played a long ball to wide open Carly Williams in the 49th minute. The Jaguars got a much-needed insurance goal from Smith, her 10th of the season, in the 66th minute.

It proved big because Jen Threlkeld scored her seventh goal of the season for Middle Tennessee in the 76th minute to keep the Blue Raiders within reach; however, they were unable to cash in down the stretch as South Alabama held on for the close win.

The Blue Raiders return to action at Troy Sunday at noon.

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