MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee used two first half goals to secure a 2-1 victory over Arkansas State on Sunday afternoon at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.
The Blue Raiders (7-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) are off to their best start since 2009 after picking up two conference-opening wins this weekend. MT held the shot advantage 16-11 over ASU (6-5, 0-2 SBC) as the Raiders notched six saves in the victory.
Franklin native Kelsey Brouwer (5-2) picked up her fifth win after collecting six saves and allowing just one ASU goal.
Head coach Aston Rhoden was pleased with the Raiders’ ability to jump out to a 2-nil lead in the first half.
“It’s very important we get off to a good start,” said Rhoden. “Psychologically, you need to be able to stay ahead. If you give up one goal, it changes the strategy of how you want to play. Our philosophy is to get a handle on the game in the first 15 minutes.”
Middle Tennessee scored early as Kate Loye notched her fourth goal at the fifth minute from Allison Stallard’s free kick. The goal was the ninth of the season for Middle Tennessee in the first 15 minutes.
Midway through the first half, the Red Wolves pelted three shots in the span of 30 seconds. Brouwer blocked two shots from ASU’s Christina Fink as the other shot from Loren Mitchell sailed over the cross bar to preserve MT’s lead.
At the 42nd minute, freshman defender Emily Jorgenson scored the golden goal from a deflection from Paige Goeglein.
In the first half, Middle Tennessee led the shots column, 10-7. The Raiders had four saves compared to three for ASU.
In the second half, Middle Tennessee fired six more shots, but the Red Wolves kept up their offensive aggressiveness.
ASU freshman Katey Carmichael scored after breaking away from MT’s Brouwer at the 69th minute to make it a 2-1 match. Fink added the assist for ASU.
The Red Wolves added on a couple more chances in the match, but the Blue Raiders prevailed to their seventh win of the match.
MT soccer visits preseason SBC favorite FIU on Friday, Sept. 28 before facing Florida Atlantic on Sept. 30.