Doughton: Women’s Soccer secures big upset to close out non-conference slate

Doughton: Women’s Soccer secures big upset to close out non-conference slate

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Sunday night in Nashville, you couldn’t have written a script like what Middle Tennessee Soccer pulled off against Vanderbilt.
After going down a goal just after halftime to the defending SEC tournament champs, the Blue Raiders countered with an equalizer on the break in the 68th minute off the boot of senior Peyton DePriest. Outshot by the Commodores, eight saves from junior Hannah Suder kept MT in the game.
And as often happens on the pitch, all it takes is one chance to break the game open. That chance came in the 87th minute, as the ball whipped out wide to a sprinting Taylor Hamlett who placed a picture perfect cross into the box…
Well, I’ll let the highlight finish the picture.

DePriest’s header found the back of the net for her 53rd career goal, and proved to be the difference as the Blue Raiders won 2-1 in their final non-conference match of the season. It was MT’s first win over an SEC opponent since the Blue Raiders knocked off Tennessee 1-0 on ​​Sept. 13, 2013.
“Really proud of the character the girls showed in terms of coming back from a goal, and being able to win one close at the end,” head coach Ashton Rhoden said after the win. “Couldn’t be more proud of the bench and the energy they brought. Our fans were unbelievable, having traveled up the road. They helped push us over the line and helped us get this win.”

The win on Sunday capped off a successful non-conference slate for the Blue Raiders, who enter Thursday’s C-USA opener against FIU with a record of 4-3-1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT at Dean E. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium.
“I think this just came at the perfect time,” DePriest said after the win. “We’ve been really up and down with our consistency and play, and we really needed a good team win before going into conference play next week, and this was just the perfect way to end it.”

Football Gets Prep for Second Road Trip Underway
Football season also rolls into conference play this week, as the Blue Raiders take to the air to travel to the Lone Star State to battle with UTSA on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CDT on ESPN+.
“When conference play starts, it magnifies the importance of every game,” head coach Rick Stockstill said. “To get where we want to be at the end of the year, there’s nothing more important than conference play. And the players know that.” 
The Roadrunners have gotten off to a hot start to open 2021, upsetting Illinois 37-30 to open their season, before blanking Lamar 54-0 last week in their home opener. The Blue Raiders, for their part, are hungry for a win after losing a closely contested game 37-35 in San Antonio a year ago.
“They’re a really good defense,” Stockstill said. “They run well, they’re fast. They’ll mix up their pressures, they’ll come after you and try to get you behind down and distance. It’s a really fast, typical Conference USA defense.”
UTSA has one of the most unique environments in Conference USA, playing their home games in the Alamodome, making UTSA one of two FBS schools (Syracuse) to play their home games inside a domed stadium. Stockstill, Blankenship and Amir Rasul all said that doesn’t create a ton of differences on the field compared to a normal environment, but certain things, like making a smaller crowd louder due to the trapped noise, can create an interesting road experience.
“You don’t have any weather to complicate anything,” safety Reed Blankenship said. “Maybe the view would be a little bit different. It could be a little bit darker on the field, just due to the sun not being there, but it’s honestly not that big of a change.”
Men’s and Women’s Golf Post Strong Starts to Open the Fall
Early last week, men’s and women’s golf posted strong results in the first tournament of the fall for each team.
Graduate student Sophie Burks earned C-USA Women’s Golfer of the Week honors after shooting a 54-hole program record 205 (68-68-69) across three rounds at the USA Intercollegiate, finishing tied for third place at -11. Overall, the program finished third in Mobile, Ala. with a three round team score of -9 (855), with three golfers finishing in the top 15.
On the men’s side, sophomore Kevin Jegers finished in the top 10 at the Island Resort Intercollegiate, where the Blue Raiders finished fourth as a team. The men’s golf team is currently competing in Choudrant, La. at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate. Their final round this week will come on Tuesday.
Tennis Gets Underway with Wally Tidwell Pro-Am
Blue Raider tennis started up its fall schedule with the annual Wally Tidwell Pro-Am, bringing together program supporters and student athletes for a fun weekend of clinics and competition.
Check out photos and highlights from the weekend below!






Men’s Basketball Gets a UFC Experience
Men’s basketball continued its preparation for the upcoming season with a trip to UFC GYM Murfreesboro last week.
Check out some highlights from their workout below.

This Week’s Schedule in Blue Raider Athletics
The week’s games get underway on Thursday night, when FIU visits women’s soccer at home (7 p.m., ESPN+).
On Friday, cross country travels just north to Nashville for the Commodore Classic, while volleyball resumes its season with a pair of games in Florida, taking on North Florida at 10 a.m. (ESPN+) and Seton Hall at 3 p.m. (Team1 Sports). At home, Men’s Tennis will host the first of three matches this weekend at the Coach Dale Short Shootout, taking on Lipscomb at 10 a.m.
Saturday will see the Blue Raider football team take on UTSA at 5 p.m. (ESPN+), while men’s tennis takes on Louisville at home at 10 a.m.
Finally on Sunday, men’s tennis wraps up the Coach Dale Short Shootout with a match against Belmont at home at 10 a.m., while women’s soccer hits the road for its first C-USA away game, battling against Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ky.


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