Soccer heads to Louisiana for weekend set

Blue Raiders enter with four-straight wins

October 13, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee soccer team will hit the road for a pair of matches in Louisiana this weekend, its first time on the road in three weeks. The Blue Raiders start the set at Louisiana in Lafayette at 7 p.m. Friday before traveling to Monroe, La., for a 1 p.m. Sunday contest at ULM.

“We gathered some good momentum coming off our most recent homestand,” head coach Aston Rhoden said. “Now, we have to continue in that direction and apply it this weekend. Road matches in this conference are never easy and these two games will be no exception. Both opponents will come out giving us their best effort and we have to be prepared to do the same.”

Middle Tennessee recently concluded a four-match homestand in which it earned a 4-0 record with wins over Arkansas State, UALR, Florida Atlantic and FIU to climb into fourth place in the Sun Belt race with a 4-2 league record. The Blue Raiders, 7-7 overall, allowed just one goal in the four home matches and registered three shutouts, including Sunday’s 2-0 triumph over FIU to knock the Panthers from the ranks of the league’s unbeaten for the second-straight season.

Senior Shan Jones (five goals) and redshirt junior Regina Thomas (four) pace the offensive attack. Goalkeepers Rebecca Cushing and Jessica Gilchrist have split time in net each of the last two weekends, anchoring the defensive corps.

Louisiana owns a 4-10-1, 0-6 SBC ledger entering Friday’s contest. The Ragin’ Cajuns have dropped their last nine matches, but forced extra time in two of those, including a double-overtime affair against league-leader Denver. Three of UL’s four victories have come at home this fall.

ULM also is struggling in league action, also with an 0-6 mark as part of a 5-9-1 overall record. The Warhawks have lost six-in-a-row with only one goal scored in the half-dozen matches. ULM opens the weekend by playing host to Western Kentucky Friday afternoon.

Middle Tennessee will return home for its final regular-season home match after the weekend swing, playing host to South Alabama next Thursday on Senior Night. The six Blue Raider seniors will be recognized for their on and off the field accomplishments.

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