No. 25 Vanderbilt blanks Middle Tennessee, 2-0September 9, 2005 · MT Media Relations
The loss ended Middle Tennessee's school-record 13-game home winning streak and left the Blue Raiders believing they missed a break to knock off a nationally ranked team.
"I think it could have gone either way," Middle Tennessee sophomore midfielder Kaley Forrest said. "We had our chances and we had a couple of breakdowns so we will go back to work, build on that, and make the corrections. I think we played them tough. They are the 25th-ranked team in the nation and we showed we could play 90 minutes of soccer with them. They had some well-played shots, but we had some and just didn't finish."
Vanderbilt (4-1-0) scored the only goal it would need in the seventh minute when Lea Lafield scored on a cross from 7 yards out. The ball nicked off the post and caromed into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Raiders (3-2-0) used their solid defense to keep them in the game and the score remained 1-0 until the break; however, Vanderbilt scored a huge insurance goal in the 49th minute when Jessica Lenze knocked in a well-played ball.
Middle Tennessee, which managed just eight shots in the match, had six strong scoring chances in the second half and gained momentum in the final 20 minutes; however, none of the attempts were on the mark against a Vanderbilt defense that recorded its fourth consecutive shutout.
"I think we gave their defense more respect than we should have," junior forward Rachel Holmes said. "We had our opportunities but we didn't finish. We are good scoring against teams like Lipscomb and that, but I think it's time we step up and do it against teams like this. We know we can do it but we have to get confidence in one another as well as ourselves to take the shots and attack the keeper. Everybody on our team can go 1 v. 1 with their defenders but we need to finish opportunities when we do get them."
Senior keeper Danielle Perreault continued her solid play for Middle Tennessee, collecting seven saves, including three diving stops to thwart more Commodore scoring chances.
The Blue Raider defense was solid for the most part with the back four of Katie Daley, Nenita Burgess, Katy Rayburn and Ingrid Christensen constantly denying Vanderbilt. Collectively, it was the best all-around performance by the group all season. Christensen was named the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game for her strong defensive play.
Middle Tennessee returns to action Friday when it plays at Evansville at 2:30 p.m.
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