Tigers dominate first match of UAB Classic
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Memphis Tigers got their offense going in a big way Friday night, scoring six times on the Ospreys of North Florida en route to Jordan Leedle's second shut-out of the season in a match that was never in much doubt.
"I'm real pleased with tonight's effort," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "The whole team stepped up for us in this match."
The six goals the Tigers accrued were the most in a single match in the 13-year history of the UAB Classic, and the most by a Tiger squad since the 2006 Memphis squad defeated UMKC, 6-2.
The goals came in bunches for the Tigers, who twice scored in the span of a minute during the match. In the first half, Tiago Reichert took a pass from Hugo Mondragon for his first goal as a member of the blue-and-gray. Forty-five seconds later, Mondragon would be the beneficiary, off a Liam Collins cross lofted over the head of Osprey keeper John Davison, who entered for starting keeper Andrew Calise after six minutes due to injury.
"After not scoring in our last match, we really bounced back tonight," said Grant. "While it's always nice to get six goals in a match, it's even more important not to concede one, and I'm happy we got our second shutout in three games."
Those two goals would send the Tigers into the break with a 2-0 lead, but Memphis wouldn't wait long to expand it. Junior Parker Duncan earned his season's second goal in the 52nd minute off an assist by freshman Maxim Van Dyck, his second of the match, and gave the Tigers a commanding three-goal lead.
Junior defender Thomas Shannon scored the next two Tiger goals. The first, a 68th-minute penalty kick, was the fourth consecutive penalty kick goal for the strong-legged Oklahoman and his season's first. Just over a minute later, Shannon found the back of the net again, this time off a feed from redshirt freshman Mark Sherrod. Shannon took the cross from Sherrod at the near post and beat the keeper for his first career two-goal match.
Riding high from their achievement against the Ospreys, the Tigers will get another chance tomorrow against Charlotte in their final match at the "Soccer for a Cure" Classic.
"I liked the way we went about our business after a tough week of training," said Grant. "We're in for a tough match with Charlotte tomorrow, so we don't have much time to rest. If we perform like we did tonight, we'll be just fine."