No. 21 Bradley Defeats Memphis, 4-0
Aug. 29, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The No. 21 Bradley Braves defeated the Memphis Tigers men's soccer team, 4-0, in the second game of the Memphis Diadora Tournament on Friday, Aug. 29. The Tigers open the season with a 0-1 record, while the Braves begin the season with a 1-0 mark. In the first game of the tournament Memphis' conference rival UAB defeated Oral Roberts, 2-1.
Bradley came out of the gate on fire. The Braves had two goal chances within the first minute of the game, scoring on their second chance when Christian Meza took an assist from Grant Campbell and striked it into the left side of the goal past Memphis goalie Jordan Leedle, a freshman from Franklin, Tenn.
The Memphis squad had made several good runs at the goal in the first half of the game, but struggled for chances in the second period.
Bradley came out with a quick goal in the second half, much like they did in the first half. Justin Bigelow rebounded the ball off of a previous goal attempt and got the ball to Bryan Gaul who put the ball past Leedle.
The game wouldn't see a goal again until in the 86th minute when Chris Cutshaw dribbled into the goal box and connected on his first goal of the season. Cutshaw would strike again four minutes later when he dribbled half the field, streaking past the Memphis defense and put the ball past Leedle for his second goal of the game and of the season.
"I thought the timing of the goal was really the critical factor in tonight's game," said Head Coach Richie Grant. "To give up a goal so early in each half had a big influence on the match. I thought the lads battled and worked hard. I thought we could have been in the match. The timing of goals is critical in the game of soccer and tonight they came at very bad moments."
The Tigers were playing with a short staff on Friday night. Several Memphis men's soccer players have been suspended from the team for a violation of team rules, which meant that several players saw increased roles in the match against Bradley.
"I thought Parker (Duncan) caused them a lot of problems in the first half up front," Grant said. "I also think that Rory (O'Connor) really played a solid game for us on the defensive end. Thomas Shannon continues to get better game by game. There is some real optimism about some of our young players. These guys will continue to battle for positions all season long."
Drew Van Kampen earned the victory in goal for Bradley, while Freshman Jordan Leedle earned a loss in his first start in goal for the Memphis Tigers.
Prior to the game against Bradley, Memphis presented Pablo Lujan Flores, a leukemia patient at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, with gifts from the Memphis program. Lujan Flores visited Thursday's Memphis practice where the Tigers helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation present Pablo with a laptop, iPod and digital camera. Lujan Flores, an avid soccer fan, went through several drills with the team as they prepared to face Bradley.