Tigers Shutout No. 20 Saint Louis, 2-0
Oct. 23, 2004
MEMPHIS - For the first time ever in the regular season, the University of Memphis men's soccer team beat the No. 20 Saint Louis Billikens with a 2-0 shutout at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex on Saturday.
The Tigers came into the series 0-12-1 in the regular season and 3-15-1 overall. All three victories against SLU came in the postseason. It is the first time the No. 22 Tigers have beaten a ranked team since 2001 when they beat a then No. 8 UAB squad.
With the win the Tigers improve to 10-3-1 and 6-1-0 in Conference USA while Saint Louis falls to 7-6-1 and 4-3-1. Memphis has now locked up a spot in the C-USA Tournament for the first time since 2000 as they regain their lead at the top of the conference standings. The Tigers have also matched their most conference wins in a season with six.
"It was nice to get the win against Saint Louis, but what's most important is our C-USA position," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "The players treated this game the same way they did against Charlotte, DePaul, Cincinnati and all our other conference games. It was a very exciting game, and for that you have to give credit to Saint Louis for constantly coming at us. They made it a big challenge."
Senior goalie Sebastian Vecchio stopped all SLU attempts en route to picking up his fourth shutout of the season. In the first quarter, Vecchio stopped a penalty kick off the foot of Ryan Wileman. It is the first time a Tiger has blocked a penalty kick since 1992 when current Memphis women's soccer coach Brooks Monaghan stopped one. Vecchio had seven saves in the game and blocked four shots in the second half.
"I'm really please in the performance by Sebastian," Grant said. He was definitely a key factor in helping us keep the momentum in our favor."
Junior Dayton O'Brien took part in both scoring drives, scoring his seventh goal on the season on a header and assisting on the game-winner to Andy Metcalf. O'Brien leads the team with 22 points and eight assists on the season.
Metcalf scored his fourth game-winner and team-leading eighth goal of the season in the seventh minute of the game passes from Cormac McArdle and O'Brien. John Reilly picked up his second assist on the goal by O'Brien in the 38th minute.
Next up for the U of M is its last conference home game against No. 25 UAB at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The game will likely determine the No. 1 seed in the conference. Tickets for the game are $2 for adults and free for children 18 and under and students with their ID.