Story by Jacob Young // Contributing Writer
Photo by Austin Lewis/MTSU Sidelines
Middle Tennessee (2-2-1) entered Sunday’s game against Belmont (0-2-3) coming off back to back shut out losses. As a mid-state rival, Belmont only added to the Blue Raiders’ hunger for a win and amplified the intensity of the game. However, after a series of offside calls, both teams settled for a 1-1 tie.
Belmont came in to tonight’s game with added motivation themselves, as they have failed to notch a win so far this season. With redemption being the theme of the game, the crowd was packed with fans of both teams.
Belmont came out firing, getting two corner kicks early on, but Blue Raider freshman goalkeeper Sydney Chalcraft fought off both attempts. But, at the 21:02 mark of the first half, Belmont did not fail on a corner kick as Murfreesboro native Anna Brock Hawkins got Belmont on the board. This was only Belmont’s second lead of the season.
At 33:16 in the first half, Blue Raider Sam DeBien had an excellent opportunity to score after getting past the goalkeeper, but the scoring chance was denied by a Belmont defender. Unfortunately, DeBien was injured on the play and later returned to the sidelines on crutches.
MTSU freshman Salena Jordan also had a great scoring chance late in the first half, but her shot attempt hit the top crossbar.
The Blue Raiders came out with energy in the second half, as Jordan broke away from Belmont’s defense and put it through for the game-tying goal at the 48:34 mark.
With scoring opportunities being very limited, play amped up for both sides as things got rocky in the second half. It ended with both teams at one goal apiece.
In the first overtime period, redshirt-freshman Haley Nishimoto had to leave the action with an injury and did not return.
Offside calls were the theme of the game and none were bigger than the final offside against MTSU. With less than 10 seconds remaining, the Blue Raiders had a phenomenal chance to score, with Charlotte Van Ishoven’s shot attempt going off the crossbar and Jordan’s rebound shot actually going into the net for a would-be goal. However, offside was indeed called which negated the goal, and things ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Blue Raiders play at home Friday, Sept. 9, against Tennessee Tech.