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Suominen lifts Blue Raiders to double-overtime victory

Game winner caps MT comeback

August 29, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Junior Hope Suominen tallied the game winner with just under six minutes remaining in the second overtime to give the Middle Tennessee soccer team a thrilling, come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Tennessee Tech Sunday afternoon at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Suominen capped the Blue Raider comeback, in which the hosts found themselves trailing early in the second half only to mount the win in dramatic fashion. Her game winner, at 104:12, came on a crossing pass from freshman Heidel Johannessen. Suominen placed her left foot on the pass and redirected it just inside the near post as the ball trickled through the outstretched fingers of Golden Eagles goalkeeper Becca Toler, providing Middle Tennessee (1-2) with its first triumph of the campaign.

Johannessen, one of two Blue Raider freshmen from Norway, also factored into the game-tying goal. With her back turned towards the goal, she fed a short pass to senior Vanessa Mueggler near the top of the 18-yard box, who then ripped the ball behind Toler for the equalizer at 89:29, sending the Middle Tennessee faithful into a frenzy with the late score.

The Blue Raiders had dominated much of the offensive attack throughout the contest and the home team had thought it had netted the game winner earlier in the second extra frame when sophomore Whitney Jorgenson's header crossed the goal line. However, the far-side official declared her offside and play continued for another three minutes until Suominen's clincher.

Tennessee Tech (0-3), despite being outshot 11-3 in the first half, came out more aggressive to start the second period and lit up the scoreboard first when Kerri Reid blasted a shot to the upper left 90 of the goal frame from 30 yards out for the 1-0 lead.

Middle Tennessee, which had scored only once in its two previous games to start the season, continued to struggle to find the back of the net despite a 20-6 advantage on shots. Mueggler led all players with six attempts, while Suominen registered five shots as the two players accounted for more than one-half of the overall Blue Raider total.

Toler finished with nine saves for the Golden Eagles, while MT keeper Rebecca Cushing stopped just a pair as both netminders played the full 104:12.

The Blue Raiders will return to action with their second road match of the young season at 4 p.m. Friday when they travel to Huntsville, Ala., to face Alabama A&M. Middle Tennessee opened the 2009 home slate with a record-breaking 11-1 win against the Bulldogs.

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