Tigers Top Cardinals in Season Opener
Aug. 31, 2007
Football season starts tomorrow. Tonight, 579 screaming Tiger fans ushered in the 2007 Memphis soccer season at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The sounds of the pep band filled the stadium as the Tigers hosted former Conference USA rival Louisville in the finale of day one at the Memphis Diadora Tournament.
The Tigers opened scoring when sophomore defender Rory Dowd took Sean Goulding's free kick, which rattled off several feet in the goal box, settled it off his chest and stuck it in the top corner past Louisville keeper David Simolike with just under four minutes remaining in the first period. That was the only goal of the match, a physical one which saw two yellow cards on each side.
"We knew that Louisville would be a formidable opponent, and they were," said Coach Grant. "It was a good match to start the season."
Last season, the Tigers climbed back from a 3-0 deficit at Louisville to win 4-3 in overtime. No such comeback was to be tonight, as the Tiger defense held off a strong Louisville attack most of the second half. Down their best defender as Michael Coburn had to return home to Ireland to be with his ailing grandmother, the Tiger defense was anchored by the play of (typically forward) Jared Britcher, Rory Dowd and Thomas Hyland.
Grant said it was tough to lose a top defender like Coburn, but the Britcher filled in for him just fine.
"Britcher was the man of the match," he said. "(Louisville) returned a center forward who is a wonderful footballer in (Frank Jonke), and Britcher contained him all night."
The 1-0 Tigers will return to Mike Rose Sunday evening to face Evansville, who lost their match against Oral Roberts earlier this afternoon.