Rhoden wins No. 100 as Blue Raiders top Trojans

Middle Tennessee earns third-straight victory

October 3, 2010 · Athletic Communications
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Middle Tennessee won its third straight, earning a 4-1 road Sun Belt victory at UALR Sunday afternoon, to give head coach Aston Rhoden his 100th win as the Blue Raiders' head coach in soccer action at Burns Park in Little Rock, Ark. The Middle Tennessee mentor is in his ninth season in charge of the program and already is the school's winningest head coach.

UALR (4-9, 0-4 SBC) struck first, forcing a Blue Raider comeback. The Trojans got on the scoreboard just 2:04 into the game when Holly Holland set up Kristen Semko for a shot 20 yards out into the top right corner.

The Blue Raiders, however, responded quickly. Redshirt freshman Regina Thomas dribbled down the right side and fed All-Sun Belt honoree Vanessa Mueggler for a redirection into the lower left portion of the cage for the equalizer at 9:11. Mueggler's goal is her team-leading eighth of the campaign.

Middle Tennessee (6-7, 3-1 SBC) maintained the offensive pressure and went ahead to stay at 23:06 as All-Sun Belt selection Shan Jones split the Trojan defense down the middle before placing the ball behind goalie Jane Picarelli from 15 yards away for a 2-1 lead.

Thomas added another Blue Raider goal less than a minute later when Mueggler passed her the ball for a two-goal cushion, 3-1, and she found open netting from 15 yards out at 23:56.

Both teams had several chances to score again, but neither would until Mueggler located sophomore Whitney Jorgenson, who then sent a pass to Jones. Jones then finished off the attack by tallying her second goal of the game at 85:04 to decide the final margin.

Jones and Thomas each had four shots to pace the Middle Tennessee offense, while Mueggler contributed three attempts. Semko and Holland each had three shots to lead UALR. Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year Christiana Veasley was held without a shot attempt for the Trojans.

Blue Raider goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing collected nine saves in net, while Picarelli finished with five stops.

Middle Tennessee will continue league play on the road when it heads to Florida for a pair of matches next weekend. The Blue Raiders begin the two-game trip at 6 p.m. Friday against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Fla., before facing FIU at 11 a.m. Sunday.

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