Four-Point Game by O'Brien Helps Defeat Charlotte 3-1
Sept. 25, 2004
Charlotte, NC - Dayton O'Brien's two assists and game-winning goal pushed the University of Memphis men's soccer team past Charlotte, 3-1, on Saturday at Transamerica Field.
The four point game added to his three points from assists on Wednesday against Evansville give the junior forward a combined seven points on the week. The goal is O'Brien's third of the season and his second game winner. O'Brien now has seven assists, two more than the conference assist leader had in the 2003 season. He now leads the team with 13 points.
"We had a very strong performance today," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "This was really a great team effort. We defended extremely well as a squad in the second half and had an outstanding performance and week from Dayton O'Brien."
With a 5-2-0 overall record through the first seven games, the Tigers are off to their best start since going 5-2-0 to begin the 1993 season. Memphis also equals its 2003 Conference USA win total with the 1-0 start after going 1-6-2 in conference play last year.
"We're just trying to keep our feet on the ground," Grant said. "It's very important we go game to game. That win was a long time coming, and it was the fruit of a lot of work. Now we have to turn around and come back Wednesday and do it again. A great man once said, `The only way you can go undefeated is to win the first one.'"
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the first half after goals by Michael Coburn and O'Brien. Coburn, a freshman defender from Dundalk, Ireland, headed in his first collegiate goal in the 16th minute. The goal came from a corner kick assist by O'Brien and by a deflected assist by Daniel Dobson. Dobson's assist is his third of the year and fifth point on the season.
"With Dayton's corner kicks, anybody who is in the frame of the goal is going to benefit from the serve," Grant said. "Coburn really capitalized on the goal with his second half defending."
O'Brien then scored the second U of M goal in the 36th minute on a free kick from 35-yards out.
"His free kick was unbelievable," Grant said. "Dayton's class showed tonight. He is deadly. The ball could only be scored in one place, and Dayton hit that spot. Superb is the only word to describe his shot."
The 49er's (3-3-1, 0-3-0) scored their first half goal on a Steven Traeger shot past Memphis senior goalie Sebastian Vecchio. Traeger beat the Tiger defenders and slipped the ball past Vecchio in the one-on-one confrontation. Michael Rose had an assist on the play.
Freshman Marcus McCarty gave Memphis a two-point cushion with his third goal of the season in the 84th minute off O'Brien's second assist in the game. The Tigers now have three players with three goals in O'Brien, McCarty and Andy Metcalf.
Vecchio aided the Memphis defense with six saves, the second time this season he has had six or more saves in a game. Last year the season high for the senior from Buenos Aires, Argentino was five saves. Vecchio's record improves to 4-2 with the win.
The Tigers will next travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats (2-5-0, 1-0-0) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Live stats are available for the game on the Internet. A link to the live stats can be found on the men's soccer schedule page at www.gotigersgo.com.