Tigers prepare to tangle with UCA
Oct. 4, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis men's soccer will have a short week for the first time in over a month when they take on the Central Arkansas Bears, Tuesday night, at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The match will begin at 7 p.m.
Memphis has dropped five straight entering this contest, with four of those coming by a score of 2-1. This nonconference test will be the last for a while, with conference play kicking in gear for the Tigers. Memphis will face four C-USA opponents (Central Florida, Florida International, Kentucky and SMU) before its next non-conference tilt, at Missouri State, October 26.
Central Arkansas began the 2010 season by losing six of its first seven matches, but has rebounded in the last week by winning matches against Houston Baptist and Alabama A&M. The Bears still have a long way to go to get to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference but the young squad is learning as it goes in 2010, much like the youthful U of M team.
"Any team that puts two wins together is playing with some confidence," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "They may sniff out the opportunity that things aren't going as well for us, so we have to be extra-sharp tonight."
Former Tiger keeper Cody Gibson transferred to Central Arkansas after last season and will be a visitor to Mike Rose for the first time in this match.
For the Tigers, this match offers a chance to get some positive momentum heading into a tough four-match conference drive that could turn out to define the 2010 season. It should be noted that the Tigers should take all the confidence imaginable into this match, having stood toe-to-toe with fifth-ranked Tulsa for 90 minutes, Saturday night, and losing a respectable 2-1 match to a high-scoring Golden Hurricane squad that boasts two potential All-Americans in Austin Neil and Ashley McInnes, who scored what would prove to be the game-winner against the Tigers.
"Every game has been a big opportunity," said Grant. "We're excited to be out early this week; when you're coming off a decent performance and disappointing result (like Saturday night), you just want to get back out and play again. The last few weeks we've had to wait a week between matches and its been too long of a break."
Junior defender Thomas Shannon, who leads the Tigers with nine points through the season's first eight matches, was held scoreless by the Golden Hurricane, his first match in the last three in which he didn't garner a tally on the offensive end.
Tomorrow night is Group Night at Mike Rose; groups of 10 or more can get into the match free of charge. E-mail your group list to soccer marketing coordinator Nicole Imbrogno (email@example.com) by 3 p.m., Tuesday, and then head out to Mike Rose to support the Tigers.
Shannon nears milestone
With his next point, Thomas Shannon will become the first defender to earn a double-digit point total in a season since Omar Jarun in 2003. His three goals in 2010 is the most by a defender since Jamie Gilbert, who attended the same high school as Shannon in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, had three goals in 2006.
Sherrod gets first goal
Redshirt freshman Mark Sherrod tallied his first regular-season goal in a Memphis uniform against SIU-Edwardsville in the 81st minute. Sherrod was a highly-touted recruit coming out of Knoxville's Carter High School but redshirted due to injury in 2009.
Van Dyck named top-100 freshman
Freshman defender Maxim Van Dyck, a native of Blankenberge, Belgium, was rated the 68th-best freshman in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com's panel of experts. The left-booted Van Dyck has started all seven matches for the Tigers so far, assisting on two goals and becoming the point man for free kicks and corners.
Memphis to host Conference USA Tournament
The University of Memphis is pleased to announce it has won the right to host the 2010 Conference USA Men's Soccer Tournament. The top six regular-season finishers will battle for the championship at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex, Nov. 10-14.
Grant approaches career wins mark
Coach Richie Grant enters this match with 104 victories, six shy of tying predecessor Chris Bartels for most in men's soccer history.
Live Stats will be provided for this Tuesday's match. Click here for the Gametracker coverage.