Three Seniors Prepare For Final Match Against South Carolina on Saturday
Nov. 5, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis men's soccer team will wrap up the 2009 season with a match against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sat., Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The Tigers enter the fixture with a record of 6-7-2 (2-5-0 C-USA). South Carolina comes into the match with a mark of 7-7-3 (2-3-2 C-USA).
"Senior night is always a special occasion when players are representing their program for the last time," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "For that reason we want the performance to honor them. We want to have a good showing and we want to get to seven wins (on the season)."
The Tigers have gotten contributions from several players this season, including a very talented freshman class that played their first seasons as Memphis Tigers in 2009. Leading the group are freshmen Andreas Guentner, a versatile player who has proved his worth as a defender and as a creator in the middle of the park, and J.J. Greer, a creative forward who currently leads the team in assists with five on the season. Also in the group of freshman are Jordan Johnson, who earned 13 starts as a defender this season, and midfielder Jon Wright, who started 12 games as an outside midfielder for the Tigers. Justin Watson and Hugo Mondragon have also made notable contributions as freshmen in 2009.
Along with the freshmen, sophomores Parker Duncan, Cody McCoy and Thomas Shannon have had impressive years thus far. Duncan, an All-C-USA third team selection last season, currently leads the team with four goals and three assists. Shannon, a defender from Broken Arrow, Okla., has proved his worth over the past few weeks, after returning from an injury suffered early in the season. Shannon is two-for-two this season on penalty kicks, correcting an area of concern for the Tiger coaching staff coming into the season. Mccoy, a midfielder from Knoxville, Tenn., has started 14 matches this season.
The headliners of Saturday night will be seniors Rick Alleman, Michael Goodlett and Brian Farrell. The trio will play their final match as Tigers against the Gamecocks. All three have had successful careers for Grant's squad. Over their four years at Memphis, the three players have won 32 matches and have been part of two teams ranked in the Top 25 (2006 and 2007).
Alleman, a native of Spring, Texas, currently serves as the team's captain and has added a goal and an assist from his centerback position this season. A starter at left fullback for his first three years at the U of M, Alleman has proved an asset to the team stepping up at centerback as a replacement for former Tigers Michael Coburn and Thomas Hyland, both of whom currently are playing professionally in Ireland. He has appeared in all but two matches in his for year career and has started all but three matches during his time as a Tiger.
Goodlett, a native of Bolton, Miss., has started in net for the Tigers during three of his four seasons at the U of M. The Tiger senior is currently on pace to finish with the third-best career goals against average in Memphis soccer history, ahead of former GMC All-Conference selection Brooks Monaghan, the current head coach for the Memphis women's soccer squad. Goodlett has 178 career saves heading into his final home game for the Tigers.
Farrell, a product of the Colaiste Ide program in Ireland, has 10 career goals and eight career assists at the University of Memphis. This season, the senior moved to more of a midfielder position, playing as a central midfielder at times and as a link between the central midfield and forwards in other games. Farrell, like Alleman, has been a four-year starter for the Tigers.
South Carolina has been led offensively by junior forward Sam Arthur. The 2008 All-C-USA first team selection, has eight goals and two assists for the Gamecocks in 2009. Joining Arthur as a threat offensively, is Blake Brettschneider, the junior forward has two goals and one assist.
Defensively, Jimmy Maurer continues to make a name for himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Conference USA. The junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., was an All-C-USA second team selection in 2008. This season, Maurer has a 1.24 goals against average and has racked up 60 saves.
South Carolina leads the series between the two Conference USA foes with a 3-1-2 record. The Tigers picked up their first win ever over the Gamecocks last year, 2-0, using goals from Michael Coburn and Parker Duncan.
Saturday's fixture between South Carolina and Memphis will be followed by the honoring of the Memphis seniors. Prior to the game, the Tigers will host an Alumni game featuring two squads comprised of former Memphis men's soccer players. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m., on the pitch of the main stadium field at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Following the game, feel free to tailgate in the parking lot of Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
On Friday, the Tigers will host the 10th annual Tommy Smith Banquet at 7 p.m., in the lobby of the Billy J. Murphy Athletic Complex on Memphis' Park Avenue Campus. The 10th annual Tommy Smith award will be handed out at the banquet to the current Memphis player that best exhibits the characteristics and values of Tommy Smith, a former Memphis player that died suddenly in 2000.