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Rodriguez Scores Twice More in Shutout

September 4, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Rebecca Rodriguez scored a goal in each half, leading the Blue Raiders to a 2-0 victory over Birmingham Southern in the final match of the Middle Tennessee College Classic Sunday at Blue Raider Field.

Rodriguez netted her seventh and eighth goals of the season, scoring in the eighth minute on a penalty kick before adding the final score of the match in the 61st minute. The junior from Dallas, Texas, netted 12 goals as a freshman but just four last season in an injury-filled campaign. She says the key has been her health and really reading the defense.

"I've been healthy and working hard so far this season, and have really been able to finish some goals when the chances have been there," Rodriguez said. "I've gotten a lot of help from the coaches, working on sliding in the holes in the defense so I can receive the ball for a scoring opportunity.

"Our team has meshed well in these first few matches. Playing simple has been the easiest way to go and getting to the right spot in the box."

BSC's Christy Dettmer tackled Kaley Forrest from behind in the box eight minutes into the contest, giving the Blue Raiders a penalty kick for the second straight game. Rodriguez put her shot into the upper 90 on the right side of the net, off the hands of BSC keeper Tina Ross for a 1-0 Middle Tennessee lead.

Neither team could muster another score for the remainder of the opening half, though the visiting Panthers probably had the best chance on a long ball. BSC's Anne McIntyre tried to shoot past a hard-charging Danielle Perreault at the top of the box, with Perreault making a sliding save midway through the first half.

The Blue Raiders finally added the second score of the contest in the 61st minute after some nifty passing inside the 18-yard box. Melissa Wellman dropped the ball outside to Jordan LeFan, who crossed to Rodriguez for a flick past the keeper and Rodriguez's eighth score of the year.

"It was good that we kept the shutout. We got the lead and kept our discipline in the second half and got the second goal," head coach Aston Rhoden said. "We showed the ability to play with intensity over a longer period.

The Blue Raiders played without defender Sara Wohlhueter, but freshman Ingrid Christiansen stepped in to fill the void in the back.

"The entire defense played well, and we were more aggressive defensively in the midfield in the second half. It was good to see leadership from Melissa Wellman and Claire Ward and Rachel Holmes, and Danielle Perreault made a great stop when she needed it," Rhoden said.

Middle Tennessee continues its current three-match homestand, hosting Vanderbilt this Friday at 3:30 p.m.

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