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Soccer welcomes South Alabama to town Thursday night

Senior Night after the match

October 19, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee soccer team will put a cap on its regular-season home schedule with a 7 p.m. Thursday match against South Alabama at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium. After the contest, the Blue Raiders will recognize the on and off the field accomplishments of their six-member senior class (Rebecca Cushing, Shan Jones, Laura Lamberth, Luisa Moscoso, Elisabeth Sikes, Hope Suominen) on Senior Night.

“We certainly appreciate the contributions of these six players over the last four years,” head coach Aston Rhoden said. “They each have factored into our success in different ways and have no doubt left a lasting legacy here.

“However, we still have to focus on the game, as that is vitally important. South Alabama is a strong team with an improved record this year. They always play us tough, so we need to be prepared for that and give our best effort to have a good result.”

Middle Tennessee enters the contest having won its last six, outscoring its opponents 13-2 along the way. The Blue Raiders’ two most recent wins were on the road last weekend, as they knocked off Louisiana 2-0 and ULM 3-1.

Redshirt junior Regina Thomas took over the top-scoring honors for MT after the weekend, netting her team-leading sixth to help key the ULM victory. She scored twice in the match, including the game’s first goal just 3:36 into the start.

Two seniors enter Thursday’s contest just shy of tying a school record. Jones needs one more game-winning goal to equal the mark set by Holly Grogan (2004-07) of 13 in her career, while Cushing is one shutout shy of matching Jennifer Robb’s (1997-2000) all-time mark of 17.

South Alabama has won its last two matches to improve to 11-3-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the Sun Belt. The Lady Jags are led offensively by Brandi Smith’s 11 goals and 25 points. Melissa Drish has been the primary goalkeeper, recording an 1.18 goals-against average entering Thursday.

Middle Tennessee will close the regular season with a pair of road matches before welcoming seven other league schools to town for the Sun Belt Championships, Nov. 2-5.

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