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Shutout win for Blue Raiders in SBC action over Red Wolves

Gilchrist posts blank sheet in second career start

September 30, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee got scoring from all three field positions (defense, midfield and forward), while holding Arkansas State scoreless Friday night to claim a 3-0 Sun Belt soccer victory at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Blue Raiders, playing in their first home league match of the season and first overall in two weeks, berated the Red Wolf defense by holding a 19-to-8 shot advantage, including a 12-to-1 shots on goal edge.

Redshirt sophomore Jessica Gilchrist earned her second career start in between the pipes and garnered her second career shutout, grabbing just one save for the blank sheet.

Despite the offensive firepower, Middle Tennessee (4-7, 1-2 SBC) was unable to score until just under five minutes remaining in the first half. Redshirt junior Regina Thomas made a hard run down the left flank, only to be tackled inside the 18-yard box to give her team a penalty kick opportunity. Junior Allison Stallard toed the spot and knocked home the chance just under the crossbar at 40:34 to give the Blue Raiders a 1-0 lead entering halftime.

The pressure against the Arkansas State (3-6-2, 1-2 SBC) backline continued early in the second stanza. Thomas again was a factor, this time on the right side, as she received an outside pass from freshman Melisa Erturk. Thomas then wheeled a cross inside the six-yard box back to Erturk, who was completing her run, and the Ottawa, Ontario, native one-touched the pass just inside the left post for her first collegiate goal at 49:18.

Erturk then decided it was her turn to be on the helping end, one-touching a pass past a Red Wolf defender to senior Shan Jones, who blasted home an attempt from five yards out at 71:48 to decide the final margin.

The MT pressure eventually chased ASU starting goalkeeper Aja Aguirre from the game, as Bethany Kremer relieved her for the final 8:05.

Middle Tennessee had numerous other chances to score throughout the match with several shot right at Aguirre, who finished with nine saves. At 64:23, junior Whitney Jorgenson received a pass and her attempt grazed the left post before rolling along the goal line, but not over, untouched to the other post.

Despite the disparity in shots and offensive pressure, the game’s first corner kick did not come until the Blue Raiders attempted one at the 74:57 mark. They finished with a 3-1 edge in the category.

Middle Tennessee extended its all-time series edge to 11-1-1 with the triumph, including a 4-0-1 advantage in Murfreesboro.

The Blue Raiders will return to action in their second of a four-match homestand when they play host to UALR at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Trojans fell 1-0 at Western Kentucky Friday.

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