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Brereton Comes Up Big In Exhibition Win

August 23, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Debs Brereton didn't care if it was an exhibition game. The senior newcomer to the Middle Tennessee soccer program was determined to make a striking start and develop a deal of confidence prior to the team's season opener at Mississippi State Friday.

Brereton and Blue Raiders opened fall play on the right foot when they bested Tennessee-Martin, 2-0, in the Alabama Shootout Exhibition Tournament during the weekend. Brereton was responsible for both Blue Raider goals in the exhibition game and narrowly missed a third.

"It was very important to get that win under our belt and play well as a team," Brereton said. "As for me scoring two goals, it's the best I could think of because I'm really looking forward to the season after starting on such a high note. Hopefully it will continue through the season. I feel much more confidant now, plus I've proven to my teammates that I can do it."

Brereton got the Blue Raiders on the board in the first half when she put a deflected ball past the keeper, and then she added the second goal in the final half when she took the ball from the left wing, beat two players, made a nice cut inside and scored.

Middle Tennessee coach Aston Rhoden said he wasn't surprised by Brereton's nice start.

"I think she had a good match," Rhoden said. "She's always dangerous on the ball. She did a good job for us defensively, as well."

Although there is ample work to be accomplished, Rhoden said he is pleased with the defensive effort displayed by his squad.

"We spent the first five days of preseason working on defense so it was good to have all the defenders and goal keepers play well and not give up any goals," Rhoden said. "Defensively, the team played fairly well. We definitely have a long way to go, but we played well in spurts. That is a concern for me, though, because I want us to be more consistent over long periods of times. Those spurts (when you don't play well) are the ones where teams can win games against us. Our consistency of play is something we have to work on, and that's on both sides of the ball."

Freshman Jenny Manis got the start at keeper and played well, and Rhoden said he saw positives from all the Blue Raider newcomers. He was also pleased with the play of several returning veterans aside from the inconsistent play expected in the first match involving a blend of returning players and newcomers.

"All of the (veterans) were composed on the ball, very confident in their play," Rhoden said. "I think some of the inconsistency was due to new players just trying to sort out what they do, where they run. The understanding between the new players and old players still has a way to go but, overall, they did well."

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