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Blue Raiders overwhelm Troy 2-0

Win fourth-straight match to remain unbeaten in Sun Belt

October 3, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee went ahead early in the second half through a Shan Jones strike as the Blue Raiders maintained their unbeaten record in the Sun Belt Conference with a 2-0 victory over the Troy Trojans at Blue Raider Field on Friday night.

The Blue Raiders came into the match winners of three-straight and four of five overall after two away wins last weekend. Middle Tennessee defeated Florida International 1-0 last Friday before coming out 2-1 victors over Florida Atlantic on Sunday.

The home side started the match strong from the early going, dominating possession and using clever runs to open the center of the field for midfielders Vanessa Mueggler and Hope Suominen.

Suominen was on hand to narrowly miss putting the Blue Raiders out in front in the 31st minute. The freshman received a drop pass at the top of the box and her long drive looked destined for the net but looped just over the bar.

The Blue Raiders were unlucky to see the match go into the half scoreless after outshooting the Trojans 14-4 in the opening 45 minutes.

"I think we played a strong first half and moved the ball well," Blue Raider Head Coach Aston Rhoden said. "Give credit to Troy, they were very organized in defense and that made it difficult to get behind their backline."

Shan Jones finally put the home side in front in the 49th minute. The freshman received a ball in the area from junior Jen Threlkeld and hammered the ball past a helpless Troy goalkeeper Ashley Branham for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

"In the second half we emphasized patience and the need to utilize the width of the field better than we did in than first half," Rhoden said. "We did that and got the first one to go ahead and we used that width to create the second goal."

Sophomore Mueggler put the game away in the 79th minute. Fran Howells crushed a free kick into the box from the near side which fell to the feet of Mueggler. The midfielder pounced on the ball and struck home from five yards out.

Middle Tennessee returns to action as they take on the South Alabama Jaguars at Blue Raider Field on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. The match will be shown exclusively on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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