Winning streak reaches six as Thomas scores pair
Blue Raiders complete road weekend sweep in LouisianaOctober 16, 2011 · Athletic Communications
Middle Tennessee (9-7, 6-2 SBC) needed less than five minutes to strike first, as Thomas put the initial score on the board at 3:36. Senior Shan Jones intercepted a Warhawk pass just on the other side of the midfield stripe and turned to locate a streaking Thomas down the middle of the field. The forward then ran onto the pass, one-touched it ahead of her and behind ULM goalie Alex Holland, before finishing off her attempt from 15 yards away into the wide-open.
The Blue Raiders tacked on their second score when freshman Melisa Erturk buried her second career goal at 13:43. Thomas started the push with a shot, which was saved but not collected by Holland. Erturk then gathered the ricochet and placed it just inside the right post from 25 yards away to give MT a 2-0 edge.
The two first-half goals were the first for the Blue Raiders since junior Paige Goeglein netted a score against Florida Atlantic Oct. 7.
ULM (5-11-1, 0-8 SBC) turned up the pressure during the opening minutes of the second stanza, equaling its first half shot count within the initial 10 minutes. Taylor Bonetti took the Warhawks’ first attempt, only to have Cushing deny the opportunity. Then, Kat Cuntz sent a shot just wide of the goal frame nearly cutting the deficit in half as part of the flurry.
Thomas then provided her second goal of the afternoon at 71:39 to push the advantage to 3-0. Senior Laura Lamberth sent a through ball to the left side, which was knocked down by an ULM defender. After the defense stopped to collect itself, Thomas picked up the loose ball and fired a shot from 15 yards out past Holland for her team-leading sixth of the campaign.
The Warhawks place their only goal of the match into the back of the net with 1:17 left at 88;43. Megan Lindholm sent a through ball towards the middle of the field. Bonetti ran onto the pass and slipped it past Cushing to decide the final 3-1 margin.
Middle Tennessee finished with an 18-8 shot advantage, led by five from Thomas with all her attempts on goal. Senior Luisa Moscoso added a trio of shots.
Bonetti paced the Warhawks with three shots, all on goal, in the loss.
The Blue Raiders will return to action at 7 p.m. Thursday as they close the regular-season home slate by playing host to South Alabama. It will be Senior Night at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium, as Middle Tennessee will honor its six seniors for their on and off the field accomplishments.
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