Middle Tennessee picks up third-straight Sun Belt victory

Blue Raiders close homestand at 1:30 p.m. Sunday

October 7, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee struck twice before conceding a goal late to hang on and defeat Florida Atlantic, 2-1, Friday night in Sun Belt soccer action at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The win is the third-straight in league action for the Blue Raiders, who surrendered their first score in nearly 267 minutes.

It was just past the halfway mark of the opening period when Middle Tennessee (6-7, 3-2 SBC) put the first goal on the scoreboard. Junior Whitney Jorgenson sent a corner kick into the six-yard box, and before it was cleared out by the Owl defense, she followed up her attempt with a shot between a FAU defender’s legs that was stopped by goalkeeper Ashley Lantes.

Lantes, however, was unable to control the ball and it bounced directly back to senior Shan Jones, who was standing at the top of the six-yard rectangle. Jones then had an opportunity turned away by Lantes, who again could not corral the loose ball. On the third try, junior Paige Goeglein came rushing in from 15 yards out and placed the ball just inside the left post for her first goal of the campaign at 24:45.

The Blue Raiders continued to put pressure on the Florida Atlantic (5-6-1, 1-3-1 SBC) cage, firing shots from all angles. With just over six minutes remaining in the half, senior Luisa Moscoso turned away from a defender and fired an attempt just past the upper right corner of the frame.

Her shot came just two minutes after FAU’s Breanna Lewis provided the visitors with their best chance, a hard shot off the crossbar at 37:27.

As the second half began, Middle Tennessee did not relent in its pursuit of another score. Jones had a pair of solid opportunities early before her third attempt of the session, at 59:20, finally found the back of the net. She received a one-touch pass from Jorgenson 30 yards from the end line before sprinting past her defenders along the right side and shooting back across the goal mouth to the left post to give the Blue Raiders a 2-0 cushion.

Despite the two-goal advantage, MT knew it had to keep pushing offensively, and it did. However, the Owls remained pesky and gave themselves a couple of scoring chances late, starting with Brittney Nash’s header at 81:16 that sailed just over the bar. Florida Atlantic was able to break through at 85:44 when Jesse Shugg made a hard push towards the net before feeding Allison Griffin for a put-back near the left corner to slice the deficit in half.

Middle Tennessee then played keep-away for the majority of the remaining moments, but Meagan Borger nearly tied it with two seconds left by launching an attempt from 20 yards out just over the crossbar.

The Blue Raiders will return to action when they close a four-match homestand by playing host to FIU at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the next-to-last regular season home game of the campaign.

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