Tigers Host Wisconsin in Home Opener
MEMPHIS, TENN.- Memphis opens the 2012 season on Friday at home with a non-conference battle with Wisconsin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT at Mike Rose Stadium.
The University of Memphis has only played the University of Wisconsin once in the program's history. Their only meeting came during the 2011 season on Sept. 11 at Wisconsin, with the Tigers picking up the win 2-1. Returning Memphis forward Mark Sherrod picked up the game winning goal in the 78th minute. The victory was a milestone for head coach Richie Grant, making him the winningest head coach in the program's history, surpassing predecessor Chris Bartles with 111 victories all-time. Grant is 1-1 against teams from the Big Ten Conference, with the lone win against Wisconsin, and the loss coming against Ohio State 0-1 in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Scouting the Badgers
In two exhibition matches during the month of August, the Badgers were 0-1-1, losing to (No.7) Louisville 1-0, and battling Evansville to a 1-1 draw.
In their second season under head coach John Trask, the Badgers finished their 2011 campaign with an overall record of 10-8-2.
Wisconsin finished third in the Big Ten racking up four wins and two losses in league play.
Last season was the first time since 1995 that the Badgers posted four wins in conference play.
This season Wisconsin returns an experienced squad with nine of their top-11 scorers returning to the pitch.
The Badgers leading their leading scorer from 2011, Tomislav Zadro. During his 2011 campaign the All-Big Ten performer recorded six goals and 20 points.
This is the earliest date Memphis has started the regular season, the previous was Aug. 25 in a 4-3 OT win at Louisville.
Memphis is 21-6-3 in home openers in the program's history.
The Tigers are 8-3-1 in home openers under head coach Richie Grant.
The Tigers have played in five over-time games to start the regular season in the program's history.
Four Tigers earned roster spots with Major League Soccer amateur teams this summer. Liam Collins and Wil Linder were named to the DC United's U-23s, Chandler Gagnon made the Columbus Crew's U-20s and Mark Sherrod played for the Portland Timber's U-23s.
Gagnon helped his Columbus Crew U-20s win the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship also known as the McGuire Cup. Sherrod was named to the PDL All-League Team and PDL All-Western Conference Team, after racking-up 10 goals and leading the Western Conference in scoring.
Camp on the Road
Memphis opened training camp on the road for the first Time in the program's history. The Tigers spent the first three days of preseason training on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The team concluded the trip with a 4-0 win over the University of Mobile in their first preseason match.
Tigers 3-0 in Exhibitions
Memphis finished the preseason 3-0 in exhibition matches. The Tigers defeated the University of Mobile (4-0), Bethel University (2-1) and Saint Louis University (3-2).
Juniors Mark Sherrod and Liam Collins received preseason nods for both conference and national awards. The Tigers-duo were both named to the MAC Herman Trophy Watch Lists. The annual award is the highest individual award presented in intercollegiate soccer.
Sherrod and Collins were each named to the College Sports Madness Men's Soccer Preseason All-American Teams. Sherrod took first-team honors, with Collins taking third-team. Additionally, Sherrod was voted to the College Soccer News Preseason All-America first-team.
The pair of Tigers each picked up C-USA preseason honors. Sherrod was voted 2012 C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year by the League's coaches, with both he and Collins tabbed Preseason All-C-USA.