Streaking Blue Raiders Secure Road Win Against Defending Champs

October 15, 2004 · MT Media Relations
DENVER, Colo. - Middle Tennessee's surging soccer team secured a win of historic proportions when senior forward Debs Brereton connected on the game-winner with four minutes remaining in double overtime to lift the Blue Raiders to a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime win against Denver here Friday.

The win was the first in six meetings for Middle Tennessee (9-4, 3-1 SBC) against Denver, the reigning Sun Belt champions and preseason favorite. The Blue Raiders have won four straight and three consecutive in league play since dropping the conference opener at Florida International.

"We beat a very, very good team here today, and I'm very excited for the girls and program because it's our first win against Denver in our school's history," Middle Tennessee soccer coach Aston Rhoden said. "The girls deserved to win the game because they had to work very hard for it. It was a well-played game and one we had to work extremely hard to in order to win."

Brereton, the nation's seventh-leading scorer entering the game, set the Middle Tennessee record for single-season points and tied the single-season mark for goals when she netted the game-winner with time ticking away in the second overtime. Brereton, the reigning SBC Player of the Week, has produced 33 points and tallied 13 goals this season.

The two contenders for the league title battled through a scoreless first half before junior midfielder Claire Ward's fifth goal of the season gave Middle Tennessee a 1-0 lead early in the second half. Ward was assisted by senior sensation Laura Miguez, the school's all-time assists leader. Denver battled back and evened the score with 10 minutes remaining, but the staunch Blue Raider defense tightened and forced additional play.

After a scoreless first overtime, Middle Tennessee broke through with the game winner with four minutes remaining in the second and decisive extra period.

"This was a great win for our team," said Miguez, who has supplied a team-high eight assists this season. "We played well as a team and this means a lot to us. We are playing with confidence and we have our goals in front of us."

Freshman keeper Jenny Manis was in goal for all 106 minutes for Middle Tennessee and registered her ninth win for the Blue Raiders

The Blue Raiders will be looking for their school-record fifth straight win at North Texas on Sunday.

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