Youthful Tech squad topped in season opener by MTSU, 4-0

Youthful Tech squad topped in season opener by MTSU, 4-0

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --With eight freshmen in the starting lineup, class was in session early for the Tennessee Tech soccer team as the Golden Eagles learned some valuable lessons while opening the 2009 season with a 4-0 loss to Middle Tennessee Friday afternoon.

"We had moments that we played really well," said second-year head coach Becky Fletcher. "We saw glimpses, but we just need to be more consistent for 90 minutes. The freshmen earned a lot of their starting spots today. They consistently outplayed other players in practice during the week."

The Raiders (1-0) jumped on top quickly, scoring the first goal of the season just less than five minutes into the contest as Whitney Jorgenson scored the first of two goals. MTSU made it 2-0 midway through the first half on a goal by Jen Threlkeld at the 23 minute mark.

Middle Tennessee struck with back-to-back goals during a five-minute span midway through the second half to cap the scoring. Vanessa Mueggler notched her first goal of the season at the 60:06 mark, and Jorgenson added her second score at 65:07 to make it 4-0.

MTSU had a 26-10 advantage in shots, including a 14-5 advantage in the first half and a 12-5 mark in the second half. The shots on goal were much closer -- MTSU had nine and Tech produced five, including two from Jen Hoffman.

Despite the loss, Fletcher found some bright spots in her team's effort, especially from Emily Homan, a freshman from Naperville, Ill.

"Emily Homan stood out today," Feltcher said. "She had dynamic runs, she created opportunities and maintained possession well for us."

The Golden Eagles (0-1) have a full week to prepare for their next action, a home match next Friday afternoon when UT Chattanooga visits for a 4 p.m. contest.

"We need to go back to the basics and get more organized defensively, and we need to get stronger with the ball," Fletcher said. "This match was in no way, shape or form our best effort. We had a few good chances, but we need to create more."


Above: Freshman forward Kris Cambrom goes ariborne in a battle for the ball against the Blue Raiders in the season opener Friday.

Top right: Junior Jen Hoffman looks to produce some offense for the Golden Eagles. She led Tech with two shots on goal.

Story and photos by Rob Schabert