Blue Raiders face rival WKU on Senior Night

Senior festivities set for 20 minutes prior to kickoff

October 30, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee can play the role of spoiler when they welcome rival Western Kentucky to Blue Raider Field for the final match of the Sun Belt Conference regular season a 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.

The Blue Raiders (9-7-2, 7-3-0) are coming off a difficult two-match road stretch that saw them fall 2-1 to the North Texas Mean Green last Friday and 1-0 to the Denver Pioneers on Sunday afternoon.

Despite dropping both matches, the Blue Raiders are assured of at least the fourth seed in next week's conference tournament in Denton, Texas. They can clinch the third seed with a victory on Friday.

The Hilltoppers (13-1-3, 7-1-2) split two matches against Denver and North Texas last weekend. They picked up a 1-0 shutout of the then-conference leading Pioneers on Friday afternoon before conceding a penalty kick in the final second in route to losing 4-3 to the Mean Green on Sunday.

They can clinch a share of the conference regular season title with a win on Friday and a draw in the match between first-place North Texas and second-place Denver.

Middle Tennessee is on pace to record the lowest number of goals allowed in season history. They have conceded just five goals in the previous 10 matches and currently rank 57th nationally in shutout percentage.

"We expect Western Kentucky to be a very strong team," Head Coach Aston Rhoden said. "They have only had one loss during the entire 2008 season and our coming off some good results last weekend. With it being a school rival we certainly expect a tough and exciting game."

Live video of the match will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com and will be simulcast as the Sun Belt Conference Game of the Week on SunBeltSports.org. Senior night festivities are scheduled to begin twenty minutes prior to kickoff.

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