Blue Raiders host WKU for shot at regular season title
MT to honor six seniors, host 'Blue Out'October 25, 2012 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's regular season finale on Friday has a regular season title and top seed at stake. The Blue Raiders host archrival Western Kentucky in a 7 p.m. contest at the Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium.
Friday is 'Senior Night' and also a 'Blue Out.' Fans are encouraged to don blue to support the MT Soccer program. Festivities honoring the six seniors will take place immediately following the match.
The six seniors include: Charity Blair, Jessica Gilchrist, Paige Goeglein, Whitney Jorgenson, Allison Stallard and Regina Thomas. This group has boasted a remarkable record of 48-28-5 (.631) - the 36th winningest senior class in the NCAA according to CollegeSoccer360. In total, the seniors have notched 69 goals, 52 assists, 190 points and 29,255 minutes in their four year careers.
The Raiders' (13-4, 8-1 Sun Belt) record-tying eight match win streak was snapped last Thursday with at 3-2 loss at North Texas. However, MT's chances at the regular season title were revived with a Western Kentucky 2-nil shutout of UNT last Sunday.
If MT wins on Friday, the Blue Raiders would collect their first outright regular season title and secure the top seed. A loss could move MT to third place, depending on the outcome of the FIU at Florida Atlantic match Thursday evening.
Middle Tennessee's offense ranks third nationally in scoring offense, boasting 3.12 goals per game. Goeglein, a midfielder, has been the offensive anchor for the Raiders with 14 goals and four assists for 32 points. Her eight game-winning goals is tops nationally, while her 14 goals are ninth in the NCAA.
13 players have recorded multiple goals this season, including four with double-figure points. Jorgenson, a senior from Overland Park, has 23 points followed by freshman Kate Loye with 20. Thomas and Tori Hawkins have 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Between the pipes, MT has used a rotation of freshman Kelsey Brouwer and redshirt senior Jessica Gilchrist. Browuer, a Franklin native, holds a 1.10 goals against average with 41 saves and a 8-2 record. Gilchrist has a 5-2 mark, boasting 26 saves in eight contests.
Looking to continue a five-game unbeaten streak, Western Kentucky (11-4-2, 6-1-2) travels to Murfreesboro in the regular season finale for both squads. Senior Amanda Buechel and freshman Lauren Moats have led a balanced WKU attack in conference play with five goals each. Reigning Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week Ali Stahlke has scored in consecutive games for the Lady Toppers, including the game-winner in a 2-0 victory against North Texas last week. The WKU defense has allowed just four goals in conference play and has a 0.42 GAA average with freshman Nikki Hall between the pipes.
The series with WKU and MT is even at 4-4-5. The Blue Raiders have dropped two consecutive matches to WKU. Last season, the Toppers edged MT, 1-0, in the regular season finale before handing MT a 1-nil loss in the Sun Belt Tournament. Prior to last year's regular season loss, the Blue Raiders have won four home matches in Murfreesboro.
Fans are encouraged to wear Blue on Friday evening. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with 'Senior Night' ceremonies to follow afterwards. Live audio and video is available at GoBlueRaiders.com, while fans can follow updates on Twitter @MT_Soccer.
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