Sanderson's Hat Trick Propels @MemphisWSoccer Past Middle Tennessee 3-1
Sep 1, 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee (0-1-2) scored six minutes into the match, but a hat trick by Valerie Sandersonpropelled Memphis (3-1-0) past the Blue Raiders, 3-1 Sunday.
"Today was an important day in how we responded," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "I thought that we showed some great character. They scored a great goal and you give them credit for that, but I was proud that we didn't panic after the goal. Coming off an emotional loss, we kept our poise and played well. We scored to tie it up by the half and did what we had to do in the second half." Middle Tennessee entered the match having gone two matches without scoring, but didn't waste time getting on the board. Controlling the possession for much of the first six minutes of action, the Blue Raiders put home their first goal of the season as Kate Loye converted their a rocket from 22 yards away. Rachael Figg was credited with the assist on the goal that gave Middle Tennessee a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the match.
The Lady Tigers attempted to equalize as Kaitlyn Atkinsfired a shot from 18 yards away toward goal. Blue Raiders goalkeeper Kelsey Brouwer got her fingertips on it to deflect it over the net and keep MTSU in the lead. Atkins then took the corner kick, but Brouwer stole it away in the box to end the threat.
Brouwer continued to come up big as Memphis peppered her with shots. Sanderson got the ball at her feet 10 yards away, but Brouwer got in front of it to punch the shot away. Brouwer came up with her third save of the first half as Kylie Davismade a run on her and fired from eight yards away.
Memphis broke through in the 32nd minute as Christabel Oduropassed the ball forward to Sanderson. After Sanderson's first break away attempt was broken up with the foul, Sanderson got free and punched in her second goal of the season, this time an equalizer. It was the first goal scored against MTSU on the season and Oduro picked up her second assist on the campaign.
Oduro's assist tied her for third all-time with Shoko Mikami and 21 career assists. The point edges Oduro closer to the program's scoring record as she has 89 career points. The senior forward needs 14 additional points to break Kylie Hayesrecord of 102 points.
Just under 10 minutes into the second half, Sanderson continued to show her presence as a give and go from freshman Danielle Tolmaisresulted in the go-ahead goal. Sanderson put away the goal to the back right portion of the net for her second of the evening and first career game-winner. Tolmais picked up her second career assist on the play.
A free kick from 40 yards away set up the Blue Raiders with an opportunity to equalize with 21 minutes remaining. Middle Tennessee served the kick into the box where Emily Jorgenson squared up a header to put a shot on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Maryse Bard-Martelcame up with the save to keep the Lady Tigers in front 2-1.
With 17 minutes remaining, Rachael Figg raced toward the top of the box to chase down the bouncing ball served from the MTSU back line. Bard-Martel won the race to the ball and kicked it downfield to end the threat. Seconds later, Memphis was whistled for a handball just outside the box. On the free kick, the Blue Raiders elected to go with a shot, but the shot sailed over the crossbar.
Sanderson had a great chance for the hat trick in the 78th minute, but the attempt was stopped by Brouwer. Sanderson made the run on the left side and got off the shot from 12 yards away, but Brouwer dove to her right and made the save. In the 81st minute, the Lady Tigers tried to add an insurance goal, but Brouwer saved a shot by Davis to keep the score 2-1.
Sanderson got her hat trick with 39 second remaining. After a foul on Memphis near the end line on the offensive end, the Blue Raiders goalkeeper served the kick. Memphis stole the kick and passed it up field where Sanderson gathered and put the shot in the back of the net. It was the first hat trick for the U of M since defeating Marshall last season.
"We challenged Val before the game to take on a bigger role," Monaghan said. "She is an unbelievable talent and she can win games for us. We challenged her to step up and take the game on her shoulders and she responded very well. We hope this will give her confidence moving forward because she's a player that can make a huge impact in a match like she did tonight."
Memphis improves to 20-4-2 following a loss dating back to the 2007 season. The Lady Tigers bettered their all-time record to 92-5-6 when opponents score one or fewer goals and 94-6-2 when scoring three or more goals in a match.
The Lady Tigers put 18 shots on the board with 14 on goal. Bard-Martel finished with three saves while her opposition had 11 stops. Sanderson had seven shots in the match, six of which were on goal.
Memphis returns to action on September 9 at Western Kentucky. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. in Bowling Green.