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Soccer spring season wrap-up

Middle Tennessee posts 6-0-2 record

April 25, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee recently completed its spring soccer campaign with an undefeated record, picking up wins in six wins in eight matches. The Blue Raiders, who were coming off a 12-6-2 mark last fall, completed a successful season for head coach Aston Rhoden.

Rhoden recently sat down to answer a few questions regarding the spring and give a brief glimpse at what Blue Raider fans can expect this fall.

What were some of the positives that developed over the course of the spring?
Our goal going into the spring was that we wanted to make sure every player got better, in best case, from a psychological, physical, technical or tactical standpoint. So we wanted to make sure by the end of spring everybody got better in one or more of those areas and I think everyone did in terms of their development as a player. So that was a positive.

How much improvement did the freshmen show from the fall to the spring?
I think [they showed] a tremendous amount of improvement. All of them got physically stronger and that made them more confident which made them psychologically better. They were certainly fitter and had a better understanding of how we want to play. So I think all of them developed really well over the course of the spring.

Who stepped up in leadership roles?
Our seniors certainly have, in Fran Howells, Jaimee Cooper, Emily Snowdon, Vanessa Mueggler and Emily Harris. They all stepped up and played a vital part this spring. But the good thing is the team chemistry got tremendously better so it was not just those five players who exhibited good leadership qualities. We had a lot of younger players, including freshmen, who grew in that area as well.

How prepared is the team for a challenging schedule this fall?
I would hope that it translates positively over. Certainly there is a lag in the summer between what you do in the spring and what you want to do in the fall, but I think if you take it for what it is, which is a series of games against outside opponents, then I think we did fairly well. We did not lose a game. We started off fairly slow with ties against Belmont and Jacksonville State but as the spring went on, we got a lot better with wins over Lipscomb, ETSU, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and our alumni. Our alumni team was one of the better teams we played this semester. So I hope the things that we did will carry over to the fall. We certainly are leaving with good spirits and confidence. Our kids are in good shape and in a good place mentally and they have a better understanding tactically of what we are trying to get done. Technically a lot of them are more competent than they were in the fall so hopefully now we can build on that through the course of the summer and use it to get ready for what is undoubtedly the toughest schedule this program has played in school history. We will just have to see how it goes.

With input from the players and the coaches, players like Fran Howells, Emily Snowdon and Rebecca Cushing were appointed team captains for the fall. It was good to see those players step up along with their teammates and decide to show some top leadership qualities going into this fall. We hope that their input will help us as well as we prepare for the fall.

2010 Spring Results:
Belmont - T, 0-0
Lipscomb - W, 4-0
Jacksonville State - T, 0-0
Vanderbilt - W, 2-1
vs. ETSU^ - W, 3-1
at Tennessee - W, 4-1
Murray State - W, 2-0
Alumni - W, 2-0
^ - in Knoxville, Tenn. 

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