5 things to know about MTSU Soccer's weekend match ups

Sep 07, 2018 at 11:00 am by Voice Wire

Middle Tennessee returns to the pitch after putting out a dominating performance in the lone match last week. LIU Brooklyn was held to just one shot on goal as the Blue Raiders topped the Blackbirds 4-0. This week, MT closes out their non-conference slate with a pair of home matches. The Blue Raiders host Valparaiso on Friday, September 7th at 7 p.m. followed by Western Carolina on Sunday, September 9th at 2 p.m. Fans can get live updates on Twitter (@MT_Soccer) or watch live online.

1. Match Information

Matchup: Valparaiso (2-2-1) @ Middle Tennessee (3-2-0)

Location: Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

Time: September 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Matchup: Western Carolina (3-1-2) @ Middle Tennessee (3-2-0)

Location: Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

Time: September 9, 2018, 2:00 p.m.

2. Scouting the Crusaders

After they won their season opener, Valparaiso was unable to get a result until their most recent contest. In between their two wins, the Crusaders were 0-2-1 and scored just one goal in that three-game stretch. On the other hand, they've scored six goals in their two wins. Senior forward Cory Griffith has accounted for all but one of the Crusaders' goals this season. Griffith has five goals on the season, including her school record-breaking four-goal performance last Sunday. The performance earned her Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week and a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week.

This is the first meeting between Middle Tennessee and Valparaiso.

3. Scouting the Catamounts

Western Carolina has turned a corner since their season-opening loss, with three wins and two draws since then. The Catamounts rely on their defense to win matches and haven't conceded a goal in their last three games. On the other hand, they've only scored four goals in six total matches with four different players scoring one goal each. Four different players have also recorded assists this year. In similar fashion, Natalia Icen and Jacquelyn Gnassi have each seen three games in goal.

The Blue Raiders lead the series 2-1 over Western Carolina. Their most recent meeting was in 2015, when a penalty kick goal gave MT the 1-0 win in Murfreesboro.

4. Players to watch for MT

Sydney Navarro - Navarro was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week last week and for good reason. She anchored a Blue Raider backline that finished off their second shutout of the season. Navarro and the Blue Raiders have stifled opposing attacks and didn't allow LIU Brooklyn to take a shot through the first 61 minutes of the game last week. With the award, she became the Blue Raiders' first C-USA Player of the Week since the 2015 season.

Miya Lennon - Lennon garnered Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Player of the Week honors. Lennon powered the MT offense in dominant fashion last weekend, picking up a goal and two assists in the win. The goal was also the first of her career and came as the first of the game, which turned out to be the game winner.

Hannah Tillett - Tillett picked up another goal in the Blue Raiders' most recent contest giving her three on the season (tied for most on team). Her team leading 10 points place her in the top 50 nationally as the freshman has continued to make a splash in her first season.

5. By the Numbers

6.4 - A high-powered Blue Raider attack has found success so far, averaging 6.4 points per game. With that average, they're tied for 47th in the NCAA.

6 - Six different Blue Raiders have scored goals this season while five players have assisted on goals as well

4 - Friday's game will be the International Student Night Out, and the Blue Raiders boast four international players on this year's squad.

How to watch

Friday's game can be seen live on CUSA.TV while Sunday's game will be streamed on ESPN3.


Sections: Sports