Blue Raiders take on Arkansas State and UALR

Look to stay perfect in Sun Belt

October 9, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee looks to stretch its unbeaten start in Sun Belt Conference play to five matches as they travel for a pair of games against the Arkansas State Red Wolves and Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans this weekend.

The Blue Raiders (6-4-2, 4-0-0) beat Florida Atlantic and Florida International to begin conference play two weeks ago before facing Troy and South Alabama at Blue Raider Field beginning last Friday. They ran out 2-0 winners over the Trojans followed by an impressive performance in a 4-0 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.

Middle Tennessee begins the weekend with a match against Arkansas State on Friday at 4 p.m. The Red Wolves hold a 3-7-1 overall record and currently sit third from the bottom in the conference standings.

The Blue Raiders have never lost to ASU, winning eight of the last nine contests by a combined score of 37-6. The Jonesboro, Ark. team came away with a 0-0 tie in Murfreesboro last season.

"Arkansas State is a strong opponent and played us very hard last season," Blue Raider Head Coach Aston Rhoden said, "They are a much improved team from then to now and have a very good coach. They are going to be ready for whatever we throw at them."

The Blue Raiders face off against Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Trojans find themselves fifth in the conference with a 2-2-0 record, including splitting a pair of matches against Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe last weekend.

Middle Tennessee and UALR have met 14 times previously, with the Blue Raiders leading the series 11-2-1. The Red Wolves defeated the Blue Raiders on penalty kicks in last seasons conference tournament.

"Arkansas-Little Rock has a lot of their key players back," Rhoden said. They have a new coach that has done some good things with them given their strong results this year in conference and non-conference play. They are going to be a formidable opponent at home."

Live audio will be available for the match against Arkansas State by selecting the appropriate link on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.