Raiders advance to SBC semifinals with victory over host USA

Middle Tennessee takes on No. 3 seed FIU on Friday

October 31, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MOBILE, Ala. - Strong offensive play combined with tough defense down the stretch propelled No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee past No. 7 seed and host South Alabama, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Soccer Tournament on Wednesday evening.

MT (14-4-1) advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three years. The Blue Raiders face No. 3 seed FIU in a 7 p.m. contest on Friday at the Cage in Mobile. South Alabama ended its season with an 8-10-3 record.

Both of Middle Tennessee's goals came from long distance on Wednesday. Freshman Amalie Anderdal 's laser touch at the 18th minute gave the Blue Raiders the early goal. Middle Tennessee held on to a 1-nil lead at the break, as the Raiders outgunned the Lady Jags 13-to-4 in the shot column.

Another opportunity arose at the 64th minute when senior forward Whitney Jorgenson fired a shot from 40-yards out to give the Raiders a two point lead.

With 13 minutes left in the match, USA found life as Linsey Snavely scored with an assist from Clarissa Hernandez.

Despite tactical shifts from South Alabama, the Blue Raider defense held strong and closed out the match with a 2-1 victory. Wednesday's win equaled the same result as MT's regular season win over USA on Oct. 14.

Redshirt senior Jessica Gilchrist earned her sixth victory of the season and improved to 6-2-1 overall. The keeper allowed just one goal in 90 minutes of action. South Alabama's Lauren Arnold took the loss after giving up two goals, while grabbing one save.

The Raiders pelted 22 shots, limiting South Alabama to just eight in the contest. MT collected nine shots on goal. Both squads had four corner kick opportunities. 

Four Blue Raiders each had three shot opportunities.Emily Jorgenson and Charity Blair led MT with two shots on goal each.

Thursday is a scheduled off day for the remaining teams in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. MT and No. 3 seed FIU face off in a rematch on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. In the regular season contest, the Blue Raiders came out victorious with a 3-1 decision in Miami. Live stats and video of Friday's match will be available through SunBeltSports.org.

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