Middle Tennessee soccer unveils 2014 schedule

Blue Raiders host first tournament since 2008

June 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee soccer's 2014 schedule includes a visit from Alabama and the team's first home tournament in six years. The Blue Raiders will host 10 opponents at the Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium, as announced by Coach Aston Rhoden on Tuesday.

The Blue Raiders completed a 6-8-4 record last year as first-year members of Conference USA. This season, MT brings back several key returners including forward Tori Hawkins and keeper Kelsey Brouwer. All-Conference defender Emily Jorgenson along with Miranda Caballero, Kelsie Roberts and Grace Summers are also expected to make a significant impact this fall.

"Much like previous years, the 2014 non-conference schedule will be very challenging and is designed to prepare us for what will be a very competitive C-USA schedule," said head coach Aston Rhoden.

Middle Tennessee opens preseason play at home against Tennessee Tech on Thursday, Aug. 14 and travels to Kennesaw State on Sunday, Aug. 17 to end exhibition play. The Raiders' open their first two matches of the regular season in Nashville against Belmont on Aug. 24 and Lipscomb on Aug. 29.

Alabama returns to Murfreesboro for the first time since 2001 in the Blue Raiders' home opener on Sunday, Aug. 21. The following weekend, MT hosts the Blue Raider Classic at Hayes Stadium. The Raiders will hold its first tournament since the 2008 Middle Tennessee Classic. MT takes on USF on Friday, Sept. 5 and in-state foe Austin Peay on Sunday, Sept. 7.

Another OVC  opponent Murray State will close out the Raiders' home non-conference slate on Friday, Sept. 12. MT then makes a return visit to Ole Miss on Sept. 14. The Raiders close non-league play at Western Carolina (Sept. 19).

MT opens its second year in C-USA against UTEP (Sept. 26) and UTSA (Sept. 28). During the first weekend of October, the Raiders make the trek to Louisiana Tech (Oct. 3) and Southern Miss (Oct. 5). Florida Atlantic and FIU visit Hayes Stadium on Oct. 10 and 12, respectively.

Rivalries will be renewed with WKU on Friday, Oct. 17 in Bowling Green. The Raiders cap the weekend play at Marshall on Sunday, Oct. 19. Senior Day festivities take place on Sunday, Oct. 26 when the Raiders welcome UAB. MT closes out the regular season at Charlotte on Thursday, Oct. 30. This year's Conference USA Championship will be held in Charlotte from Nov. 5 until Nov. 9.

"We are still a very young team, but I'm confident that our schedule will help our players develop throughout the season and assist us in our pursuit of a C-USA title," Rhoden said. "The players all relish the opportunity to play such formidable opponents this season and will certainly be up for the challenge."

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