Memphis Travels to Birmingham to face Western Illinois on Friday
Sept. 10, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis men's soccer team is set to travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Friday for the UAB "Soccer for a Cure" Classic. In the first game of the tournament for the Tigers, they will face the Western Illinois Leathernecks at 3:30 p.m. at West Campus Field. The U of M enters the contest with a mark of 1-3-0, after losing both of their games at the Smith Barney/Nike Soccer Classic in Burlington, Vt., last weekend.
Western Illinois enters Friday's match-up with an unblemished record of 4-0-0, after earning two victories last weekend. The Leathernecks are currently rated as the No. 4 team in the Midwest region according to the NSCAA. Coach Eric Johnson's squad is coming off of a 1-0 overtime victory over the Bradley Braves, who were ranked as the No. 17 team in the nation when the Leathernecks defeated them.
"Western Illinois is off to a clean start," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "They had a great win against Bradley. I have a lot of respect for what their program is doing. They always seem to make it into the regional ratings. We need to prepare ourselves for another tough match."
The Leathernecks are led by Martin Browne, Jr., who was named the Summit League Player of the Week for his performances against Bradley and Valparaiso. The junior from Brooklyn Park, Minn., leads the Leathernecks with three goals and four assists.
Memphis is coming off of two overtime losses in the Smith Barney/Nike Soccer Classic. The Tigers fell to New Hampshire, less than one minute into the extra period. On Sunday, the Tigers lost when Vermont converted on a goal that was set up by a corner kick. Michael Goodlett, the goalkeeper for the Blue and Gray, made ten saves over his two games in Vermont. He only allowed two goals over those same two games. The Tigers are prepared to enter another tough tournament field as they travel to UAB's tournament.
"Our training so far this week has been good," Grant said. "The lads have responded really well after the disappointment we had after the two games in Vermont."
Fans can follow the game on Friday, by visiting the UAB website at uabsports.cstv.com. The game can be followed using GameTracker.