Blue Raiders fall to Flyers in road match

MT drops first contest of the season

August 30, 2009 · Athletic Communications

DAYTON, Ohio - Host Dayton scored early and added a pair before the first half ended on its way to upend Middle Tennessee, 4-0, Sunday afternoon at Baujan Field in Dayton, Ohio. The loss ends the Blue Raiders' three-match winning streak to open the campaign.

"We knew they were going to be a good team," Middle Tennessee head coach Aston Rhoden said. "We certainly did not play well the first half, but in the second half, we played much, much better. We had a couple of good opportunities, but going three goals down to a good team, it makes it harder to recover in the second half and catch up to even the score.

The Flyers scored first when Jerica DeWolfe found the upper left 90 on a 40-yard shot following a pass from Lauren MacCormick at 2:16. Mandi Bäck nearly put Dayton (2-0-1) up two early a couple minutes later as she broke free from the Blue Raider defense, but her shot landed in the arms of goalie Rebecca Cushing.

MacCormick then found the back of the net herself at 13:43. Kathleen Beljan played a left-side cross into the box for MacCormick, who corralled the ball at her feet with her back to the net, turned to her left and sent a shot high over Cushing's outstretched arms and just under the cross bar from eight yards away.

Dayton maintained the offensive pressure throughout the opening period, dominating the attack. Bäck got behind the Blue Raider defense with about 15 minutes to play in the half, but her shot hit the right post before bouncing back to Cushing.

Blumenschein added one more for the Flyers just before the half at 42:43. Her attempt from 30 yards out trickled through the fingertips a diving Cushing into the net on a MacCormick assist. The shot capped off a thorough offensive push in the opening 45 minutes by host Dayton, in which it out-shot Middle Tennessee (3-1), 18-4, and held a 4-0 advantage on corner kicks.

Cara Cornacchia nearly added another marker to the Flyer side with just over six minutes passed in the second half, but Cushing came up with a solid save to keep MT within three.

Freshman Paige Goeglein had the best Blue Raider attempt in the second stanza. Following a MT corner kick, she was able to send the loose ball just over the goal, skimming the crossbar in the process, at 65:12. Dayton nearly added another one with 23 minutes to play in regulation off a free kick from 20 yards, but because it was an indirect kick, the apparent goal was waved off.

The final score of the match came from DeWolfe on a header at 77:43. Kelsey Owen sent a corner kick just inside the 18-yard box, which found DeWolfe's head for her second goal of the contest.

Middle Tennessee could not mount much of an offensive attack all afternoon, finishing with a 29-7 deficit in shots and trailing 6-3 on corner kicks. The Blue Raiders were led by Allison Stallard and Vanessa Mueggler with two shots each.

Middle Tennessee will come back home to Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium for its next pair of matches, starting at 7 p.m. Friday against Big 12 foe Oklahoma. It will be the second meeting in the series with the Sooners with the two teams earning a scoreless tie during the 2007 campaign in Norman, Okla.

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