Middle Tennessee begins four-game road swing in Florida

Blue Raiders looking to continue best start since 2009

September 27, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A four-game road trip starts this weekend for the Middle Tennessee soccer team. The Blue Raiders travel to Florida for a Friday evening game with FIU and a Sunday morning matchup against Florida Atlantic.

Friday's contest with the Panthers is slated for 6pm Central, while Sunday's match against the Owls is scheduled for 11:30am.

The Blue Raiders (7-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) are in the midst of their best stretch since the 2009. A pair of victories this weekend would give MT its best record since posting a 9-2-1 mark in that '09 campaign.

Middle Tennessee's prolific attack is averaging 3.5 goals per game, ranking second nationally in scoring offense. Three Blue Raider seniors have notched double-digit points this year. Paige Goeglein leads the way with seven goals and three assists for 17 points. Whitney Jorgenson has posted six assists, which is 12th nationally, along with five goals for 16 points. Senior Regina Thomas, who ranks 10th all-time in goals scored, has 12 points (four goals and four assists).

Franklin native Kelsey Brouwer (5-2) holds a 1.17 Goals Against Average, while saving 32 shots in eight appearances. Senior Jessica Gilchrist has notched a 1.26 GAA in four matches.

MT started off the conference slate with a 5-0 shutout of UALR and a 2-1 win over Arkansas State. The Blue Raiders shift their focus to an FIU program that was the preseason conference favorite.

The Panthers (5-4-1, 2-0 SBC) secured a 2-1 overtime thriller against Troy on Sunday, while capitalizing on a 1-0 own goal from South Alabama last Friday.

Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week as she totaled seven saves and secured her fourth shutout on the weekend. Savage leads the SBC with 58 saves and is second with a 1.07 GAA. Chelsea Leiva is the top scorer for FIU, notching a league-best 38 shots for 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists).

The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series 8-5-1 over the Panthers. MT has won seven consecutive matches over the Panthers and has not lost to FIU since a 3-2 decision in Miami on Oct. 1, 2004. The Raiders notched a 2-0 shutout against FIU last year in Murfreesboro.

Florida Atlantic (3-6, 1-1 SBC) split a pair of road conference matches last weekend, defeating Troy 2-0, before losing a 1-0 match at South Alabama on Sunday.

FAU freshman midfielder Claire Emslie ranks fourth in the SBC with five goals and is eighth in the league with 12 points. The Scotland native is third in the conference with 3.22 shots per match and fourth by averaging 1.33 points per match.

Goalkeeper Ashley Lantes has started all nine matches, giving up an average of 2.22 goals per game, while collecting 47 saves.

MT currently holds a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series with Florida Atlantic. The Blue Raiders became the first school in the series to win two consecutive matches in the series. Last season, MT picked up a 2-1 win at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.

Live stats will be available online at FIUSports.com and FAUSports.com. Fans can also follow updates through Twitter at @MT_Soccer.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.