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Alabama trip next up for Middle Tennessee soccer

Blue Raiders to face Troy, South Alabama

October 1, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee soccer team will head south to Alabama for a pair of matches this weekend as it continues Sun Belt action and looks to continue the best start in school history. The Blue Raiders will play at 3 p.m. Friday at Troy in Troy, Ala., before heading further south to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama at 1 p.m. Sunday.

"Both Alabama opponents have always had good games against us on the road," head coach Aston Rhoden said. "We do expect strong competition from Troy Friday and South Alabama Sunday."

Middle Tennessee enters the slate with an 8-1-1 mark, the best start in school history. The Blue Raiders have won five-straight matches and are unbeaten in their last six dating back to a 2-2 double-overtime tie against Oklahoma Sept. 4. The record through the opening 10 games is slightly ahead of the 8-2 pace set by the 2006 squad.

The team won both of its Sun Belt-opening weekend matches last weekend, picking up a pair of shutouts in home wins Friday against FIU, 2-0, and Sunday versus Florida Atlantic, 1-0 in overtime.

Sophomore Rebecca Cushing has started all 10 matches in goal, posting a 1.07 goals-against average with three solo shutouts and an 81.5 save percentage. She was in between the pipes for both conference blankings last weekend and faced a combined nine shots.

Classmate Shan Jones continues to lead the Sun Belt and team with 19 points on eight goals and three assists. She leads a dozen Blue Raiders who have scored at least once this season with freshman Whitney Jorgenson and junior Vanessa Mueggler next on the list with five apiece.

Troy is 5-4-1 (1-1 SBC) entering Friday's match and is coming off a 3-0 loss at Arkansas State Sunday. The Trojans erupted for 15 goals in a win over Alabama State last month but have only scored a combined four times in the five matches since.

South Alabama is 2-7-1 (0-1-1 SBC) coming into the weekend, which it begins Friday against Western Kentucky. The Lady Jags tied UALR in Little Rock, Ark., in their last outing, and have tallied nearly half of the team's season goals scored in the last two games.

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