Homestand comes to a close for Middle Tennessee this weekend

Soccer plays host to Florida Atlantic, FIU

October 6, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee soccer will close its four-match homestand by playing host to Florida Atlantic and FIU this weekend at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium. The pair of matches is slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, respectively.

“This is another big weekend for us, not only because it is next on the schedule, but also because we are facing two quality conference opponents,” head coach Aston Rhoden said. “We made some good progress last weekend with the two wins and need to continue that momentum into these two matches to produce good results.”

The Blue Raiders earned two home shutouts last weekend, knocking off Arkansas State 3-0 Friday before defeating UALR 1-0 Sunday. All five of Middle Tennessee’s triumphs this season have come via shutout, as goalkeepers Rebecca Cushing and Jessica Gilchrist have each collected more than one blank sheet.

Cushing’s three shutouts on the campaign raise her career total to 14, tying her with Kela Casiple (2007-08) for second place in the MT record book. Gilchrist has moved into the Top 10 with her two this fall.

Florida Atlantic enters the weekend with a 5-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 SBC mark after a 2-1 overtime victory over Troy Sunday. The Owls will be looking for their second-straight regular season win over the Blue Raiders, although Middle Tennessee bounced back to eliminate head coach Brian Dooley’s squad in the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals last fall.

FIU, coached by Thomas Chestnutt, is 4-0 in the league and 7-5 overall coming into the weekend. The Panthers will start the weekend by traveling to Bowling Green, Ky., to face Western Kentucky Friday. FIU defeated Oregon in its final non-conference match Sept. 18, starting the current five-game undefeated streak.

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