Story by Rusty Ellis // Contributing Writer | Photo by Brent Beerends/MT Athletics
Middle Tennessee defeated UAB 4-2 in the Conference USA opener Sunday afternoon. MTSU came from behind to win for the first time since October 14, 2012, when the team was capping off the last of an eight-game winning steak against South Alabama, the longest in school history.
The Blue Raiders came into Sunday evening’s matchup looking for their first win since August 25 against Jackson State. UAB was looking for their first victory against MTSU, who now leads the all-time series between the two 5-0-0.
The Blazers came out firing, as Sophomore Jessica Do struck first less than seven minutes into the game, but the Blue Raiders answered back with sophomore forward Abbie Brown’s team-leading third goal of the year.
Freshman Amber Hoot kept the momentum going later in the period, giving the Blue Raiders a 2-1 lead with her first career collegiate goal.
Missed opportunities doomed the first half for UAB, as Junior Rachel Green had two chances to score for the Blazers.
In the second half, UAB started out aggressive. Do scored her second goal of the game to tie the score at two.
Once again, the Blue Raiders answered on the strength of a header by Brown for her second goal of the game and fourth of the year in the 72nd minute. Freshman Salera Jordan added an insurance goal in the 85th minute to seal the win for Middle Tennessee.
Sunday evening’s battle was a crucial win for the team as they got back on track at the start of Conference USA play.
“Yeah I mean, we weren’t on a very good run, so to get the win in this game is really big,” Brown said. “Now we need to just push on and get the win in every game.”
After scoring one goal in their previous five games, the Blue Raiders got a much-needed offensive boost in the win.
“It’s just the mentality,” Head Coach Aston Rhoden said. “You know, this is a young team and things take time. We know we have talented players, but we have got to get them into a system and into a pattern and into a flow and I think this is a good first step towards that.”
The Blue Raiders will travel to San Antonio to take on the UTSA Roadrunners on September 24.