Surging Blue Raiders score 2-1 comeback win vs. North Texas
Soccer playing for regular-season title at Western Kentucky FridayOctober 28, 2007 · MT Media Relations
After the Blue Raiders scored two goals in the final four-plus minutes to shock North Texas they learned that Western Kentucky dropped a 2-1 decision to Denver in double overtime.
Middle Tennessee (10-5-3, 7-2-1) moved into second in the Sun Belt standings and will be playing for a share of the regular-season league championship when they travel to Western Kentucky in the regular-season finale Friday at 7 p.m.
Not bad considering the Blue Raiders start six freshmen and two sophomores and had to overcome a 1-2 start in conference play. The surging Blue Raiders are unbeaten in their last seven with a 6-0-1 mark.
"I think it says a great deal about our leadership and about the ability of our young players to continue to improve and put us in this position at the end," Middle Tennessee coach Aston Rhoden said. "This never has never quit. They have kept improving and now they are rewarded with a chance to play for a share of the title."
It was the final home game for seniors Kaley Forrest, Ingrid Christensen, Holly Grogan and Kala Morgan, who was unable to participate due to the injury she sustained against Denver. The quartet gave their fans a memorable farewell.
Forrest and Grogan teamed to score the winning goal in the 85th minute and Christensen was part of a defense that was solid throughout and denied what opportunities were presented.
Heather Hutyra scored from 30 yards out on a free kick in the 23rd minute to give North Texas (13-5-0, 7-3-0) a 1-0 lead. The score remained that way at the half.
The physical match featured 36 fouls and three yellow cards but little scoring as the defenses were strong both ways; however, Middle Tennessee finally broke through for a game-tying goal when Jen Threlkeld scored in the 81st minute on a low cross from Kelly Downs to even the slate 1-1.
Four minutes later Grogan sent a corner in the direction of Forrest and she flicked in the header from 10 yards out to give the Blue Raiders their first lead of the afternoon. The defense made it stand as Middle Tennessee remained unbeaten in its last seven.
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