Men's Soccer Set For Showdown With No. 25 UAB
Oct. 12, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The Memphis Tigers will travel to Birmingham, Ala., for a mid-week match with the No. 25 UAB Blazers. The Blazers are currently second in the most recent conference standings, behind Marshall, with a record of 8-1-2 (2-0-1 C-USA). Memphis enters the match with a mark of 4-3-2 (1-2-0 C-USA). Wednesday's match marks the first time that UAB has been ranked during the rivalry game since the Tigers upended the Blazers for the C-USA title in 2004.
"It has become an important match because we are behind in the league table," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "UAB is a team we have seen a lot of this season. They are playing really well right now and have gotten some good results over the past few weeks. They (UAB) should be playing with a lot of confidence. It is a game we look forward to. The two programs have developed a nice rivalry between eachother. I think our players are keen to get back out there and play."
Memphis is coming off two-consecutive losses to Conference USA opponents, falling 2-1 to Kentucky on Sat., Oct. 10, and 2-0 to SMU on Sun., Oct. 4. The Tigers continue to be led statistically by Parker Duncan, a sophomore forward from Johnson City, Tenn. The tenacious offensive player has accounted for four goals and three assists this season. Last week, the Tigers got help offensively from yet another freshman player, with Hugo Mondragon, a midfielder from Houston, Texas, netting his first career goal for the Tigers. Mondragon joins freshmen J.J. Greer, Andreas Guentner, Justin Watson and Jon Wright as a newcomer that has netted a goal for the Tigers this season. Memphis freshmen have accounted for eight of 12 Memphis goals this season.
Brian Farrell, a senior from Dunboyne, Ireland, tallied his first assist of the season on Saturday against Kentucky. The central midfielder played a free kick to the far post where Mondragon headed the ball in past the Wildcat goalkeeper Dan Williams. Farrell has one goal and one assist in this season from his new position in the center of the park.
Michael Goodlett, the Tigers' senior goalkeeper from Bolton, Miss., enters the match with 14 goals allowed and 27 saves. Goodlett has three shutouts this season in back for Memphis.
UAB is coming off a 7-1 rout of FIU on Sat., Oct. 10. The Blazers used a hat-trick from freshman forward Kofi Gyawu to upend the Golden Panthers. Gyawu enters the contest with six goals and one assist. Two of Gyawu's goals came in the first round of the Memphis Classic played at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex earlier this season. Gyawu helped lead the Blazers to the tournament crown of the Memphis Classic. The Blazers' offensive attack centers around the play of midfielder Two-Boys Gumede. The senior has three goals and three assists this year for Coach Mike Getman. Gumede was named the Tournament MVP of the 2009 Memphis Classic with two assists in UAB's wins over Central Arkansas and Vermont. Along with Gumede and Gyawu, sophomore forward Babayele Sodade, a native of Windsor, Ontario, has been a force with five goals and two assists.
Defensively, the Blazers are led by goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski. The sophomore from Columbus, Ind., currently leads Conference USA with only seven goals allowed over 11 games. The Blazer netminder is second in the conference with 43 saves. Woszczynski has twice been named C-USA Player of the Week for his efforts this season.
The all-time series between Memphis and UAB is currently led by Memphis with 16 wins and 14 losses. The two programs have seen eachother for four games this season with Memphis playing Drake and UMKC at the 2009 UAB "Soccer For A Cure" Classic and UAB playing Central Arkansas and Vermont at the 2009 Memphis Classic. UAB has won the last two meetings between the two programs. Before the last two seasons Memphis had won five of the last six meetings between the programs, dating back to 2003.