Prolific offense helps Blue Raiders to 3-1 win at FIU
Middle Tennessee remains unbeaten in Sun Belt actionSeptember 28, 2012 · @MTAthletics
MIAMI, Fla. - The No. 2 scoring offense in the country continued its high-scoring approach as a pair of first half goals helped Middle Tennessee to a 3-1 victory over preseason Sun Belt favorite FIU on Friday evening.
The Blue Raiders (8-3, 3-0 Sun Belt) used goals from Kate Loye, Paige Goeglein and Charity Blair to remain undefeated in SBC play. Middle Tennessee also relied on the stout play of senior goalkeeper Jessica Gilchrist as she notched six saves in 90 minutes of action.
The shots were even as MT edged FIU (5-5-1, 2-1 SBC) 16-to-15. The Panthers had eight corners compared to seven for the Raiders. Middle Tennessee extended its win streak to eight games over the Panthers.
Loye, a freshman, added her fifth goal after beating FIU goalkeeper Kaitlin Savage from the top of the area at the 18th minute.
Nearly 10 minutes later, Paige Goeglein managed her team-best eighth goal after striking from a deflection from the FIU keeper. Loye and Regina Thomas were credited with the assists. The assist moved Thomas into a tie with Vanessa Mueggler (2007-10) for sixth all-time with 18 in her career.
With just four minutes left in the opening half, FIU broke up the shutout with a goal from Chelsea Leiva. The forward used a header off a corner kick from Madlen Weinhardt.
MT controlled the first half, outshooting the Panthers 10-6, and taking a 2-1 lead in the locker room.
In the second half, FIU pelted nine shots but were unable to break through the Blue Raider defense.
During the 84th minute, FIU committed a foul inside the box to give the Raiders a free penalty kick opportunity. Senior defender Charity Blair capitalized with her second goal this season to give MT the 3-1 score.
Gilchrist (3-1) allowed just one goal in six saves en route to her third victory this season. Savage fell to 5-5-1 for the Panthers after surrendering three goals on 15 shots.
"It was good to get our first conference win on the road, especially against a quality team such as FIU," said head coach Aston Rhoden. "Now, we have to rest and get ready for another tough opponent in Florida Atlantic."
Middle Tennessee looks to continue its best start since 2009 when they visit Florida Atlantic on Sunday. The match is slated for 11:30am Central in Boca Raton, Fla.
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