Goals From Pair of Freshmen Guide Tigers Past No. 21 Saint Louis in Exhibition, 2-0
Aug. 26, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The Memphis Tigers upended the No. 21 Saint Louis Billikens, 2-0, on Wednesday night at Echles Field in Memphis. The Tigers used two first-half goals from freshmen J.J. Greer and Andreas Guentner to bypass the Billikens in the preseason contest.
"I thought the first half was very strong," said head coach Richie Grant. "We had two great goals and really after that we protected what we had and obviously did a good job of that."
Greer, a newcomer from Cordova, Tenn., scored the first goal for the Tigers in the third minute of play when Thomas Shannon threw the ball in from the right side and found Greer in the box, who preceded to head the ball past Saint Louis goalkeeper Mark Pais. The goal was the native Tennesseans first of the exhibition season. He had an assist on Sunday against Christian Brothers on a goal scored by senior forward Brian Farrell.
The U of M extended their lead on the Billikens in the 33rd minute off of a Shannon free kick that found the head of Guentner, a native of Regensburg, Germany. The goal is Guentner's first in a Memphis uniform. He assisted on a Parker Duncan score in Memphis' 3-0 defeat of CBU.
Coming out of half, Saint Louis looked to be playing with an extra sense of urgency. The Billikens got off seven shots in the second half compared to only one shot in the first period.
"I thought Rick (Alleman) and Andreas (Guentner) were tremendous (in back for us)," Grant said. "They kept their shape. The whole team kept their shape, kept their discipline. Mike (Goodlett) came up with a couple of big saves at key moments. We have talked about that for a long time, to win these type of games your keeper has to do that."
Memphis was led offensively by Greer, who finished the game with two shots on goal. Forward Parker Duncan had one shot on goal for the Tigers. The C-USA All-Freshman team selection a season ago came into Wednesday night's exhibition contest with three goals in two games.
Shannon, a defender from Broken Arrow, Okla., picked up his second and third assists in the last two exhibition games for the Tigers.
"He (Shannon) delivers such a good ball from set plays," Grant said. "It is an important part of our game. The team trusts his delivery and they (the other players) just made some good runs."
The win served as the first time the Tigers have defeated former Conference USA rival Saint Louis since the 2004 season. The Billikens were also rated No. 21 in the country at the time of the defeat, however the game was during the regular season.
"For us it was more important that we just continue to get better throughout our preseason camp," Grant said. "We weren't focused on the opposition at all. We really have to be realistic about it. It is a preseason game, people's legs are heavy. We wanted to win, because that is what we want to do regardless of who we are playing."
The U of M will wrap up the preseason on Sun., Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., at Echles Field, with a game against alumni of the Memphis soccer program. Admission for the match will be free. The Tigers will open the regular season on Fri., Sept. 4 at 10 p.m., with a match against Bradley. The contest will be aired on Fox Soccer Channel.