Blue Raiders set to host soccer classic

Four-match schedule kicks off on Friday evening

September 4, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee soccer is set to host the 2008 edition of the four-team Middle Tennessee Classic at Blue Raider Field this weekend. The Blue Raiders have two matches during the tournament, against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 6:30 PM Friday and the High Point Panthers at 1:30 PM Sunday.

Middle Tennessee is undefeated in the four-year history of the classic, including two victories over Mississippi State and Tulsa in last year's tournament. Alabama A&M is the other participant in this year's field, but will not feature in a match against the home side.

The Blue Raiders are 0-2-1 on the season after opening the 2008 home schedule last weekend with a pair of disappointing losses to the Vanderbilt Commodores and Belmont Bruins. Despite the defeats, Middle Tennessee sophomore Kela Casiple turned in one of the greatest performances of any goalkeeper in school history. The Miami, Fla. native became just the second Blue Raider 'keeper to record 12 saves in a single match.

The Blue Raiders begin their quest for a fifth-straight Middle Tennessee Classic crown when they face off against the Red Raiders under the lights on Friday. The Lubbock, Texas squad comes into this weekend with a 2-1-0 record, including a 3-0 win over UT-San Antonio last Sunday. Both squads are known for their attacking flair in what should be a highly-entertaining match.

"Texas Tech will be a good opponent. They have a great coaching staff, great recruits and play in a very strong and reputable conference," Blue Raider Head Coach Aston Rhoden said. "We fully expect a highly engaging match."

Middle Tennessee concludes play in the Classic on Sunday afternoon against the Highpoint Panthers. The defending Big South Conference champions are 1-1-3 on the season after drawing 1-1 at Elon on Wednesday.

"High Point is coming off a very successful tournament last season after making the NCAA Tournament for the first time. They are a young team much like us but are a very competitive opponent as can be seen from their results," Rhoden said.

Both games involving the Blue Raiders can be followed live by selecting the appropriate links on GoBlueRaiders.com. Friday's match is audio-only while the match on Sunday will have live video coverage. Games not involving Middle Tennessee will not have audio or video coverage but can be followed live by entering the following address into your web browser: http://www.goblueraiders.com/livestats/soccer/xlive.htm

2008 Middle Tennessee Classic

4 PM - Alabama A&M vs. High Point
6:30 PM - Middle Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

11 AM - Texas Tech vs. Alabama A&M
1:30 PM - Middle Tennessee vs. High Point

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