First-half struggles send Middle Tennessee to loss

Stallard nets second career goal

August 26, 2011 · Athletic Communications
AUBURN, Ala. – Middle Tennessee surrendered a goal early and could not recover against a strong offensive attack by host Auburn, as the Tigers tallied a 4-1 victory Friday evening at the Auburn Soccer Complex in Auburn, Ala.

Junior Allison Stallard netted her first goal of the campaign and just her second career after initially scoring near two years ago, Aug. 28, 2009, at Wright State. She placed the ball in the back of the net at 88:23 to prevent the shutout on a blast from 35 yards out.

The Blue Raiders, playing in their first away match of the season, were outshot 16-6 in the contest and gave up the initial goal at 4:06 when Tatiana Coleman sent a cross into the six-yard box for a finish by Mary Coffed.

Coffed later added the second Auburn (1-1) score at 23:59 when she received a pass from Heather Havron and split the Middle Tennessee defensive core before firing her shot behind senior goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing.

Just before the half, at 44:55, the Tigers tacked on their final goal of the first period as Coffed sent a corner kick to Julie King, who redirected it into the Blue Raider net for a 3-0 halftime advantage.

Another corner kick resulted in the fourth Auburn goal of the night, as Mary Nicholson knocked the ball between the pipes at 71:31 following a Katy Frierson pass to King before sending it onto Nicholson’s feet at the top of the six-yard box.

Middle Tennessee (1-2) was led by Stallard with three shots, while redshirt junior Regina Thomas had two attempts for the Blue Raiders. Senior Shan Jones recorded the only other shot for MT.

The Tigers were paced by King’s four attempts, followed by Coleman’s three.

Cushing made eight saves in net for the Blue Raiders, while Chandler Hillen was credited with two saves for Auburn.

Middle Tennessee will return to action when it faces its second-straight Southeastern Conference foe on the road, at Tennessee, next Friday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. Central in Knoxville, Tenn.

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