Memphis Prepared to Battle UCF in C-USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.
Nov. 9, 2011
TULSA, Okla. - In the opening round of the Conference USA Men's Soccer Tournament, the Memphis Tigers are prepared to meet the UCF Knights on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Memphis, 11-5-1 overall, earned the six-seed after going 4-4 in C-USA action this season. UCF (10-4-3, C-USA 4-3-1) is the three-seed.
Paced by the 12th-ranked offense in the country, Memphis has 10 multi-goal games and is 9-1 in those contests. Sophomore Mark Sherrod, the Conference USA Player of the Year, leads the Tigers' offense with 19 goals on the year, a single-season school record. Fellow-sophomore Liam Collins, a C-USA All-Conference First Team selection, helps set up the Memphis attack. Collins has 11 assists this season, third most in a season in Memphis' history.
Thomas Shannon, Jordan Johnson, Chandler Gagnon and J.J. Greer form the defensive back line for the U of M. Greer is a second team all-conference selection and Gagnon was named to the all-freshman team. The backline protects third team all-conference goalkeeper Conor Hurley. On the season, Memphis has recorded six shutouts, the most since 2004.
UCF is led by Warren Creavalle, Kevan George and Andrew Quintana, all first team C-USA honorees, and Nik Robson and McKauly Tulloch, third team C-USA selections. The Knights have spent most of the season ranked in the top ten in the polls and finished third in the conference.
Memphis and UCF met eleven days ago in a match the Tigers won, 3-2. Memphis struck first on a 30-yard blast from Mark Sherrod. Parker Duncan headed a ball in front of Sherrod, whose shot beat UCF keeper Sebastian Evers. Ten minutes later Collins played a ball into the box off of a free kick to Sherrod, who headed it in front of the net to Greer. Greer notched the goal, giving Memphis a 2-0 lead. UCF's Robson took a pass from Cameron Cooksey and buried it in the back of the net, pulling the Knights within a goal, 2-1, before halftime.
Senior Cody McCoy fed Mark Sherrod in the 59th minute for a left-footed shot past Evers, giving Memphis the 3-1 lead. Steven Lamberta pulled the Knights back within a goal in the last ten minutes. But, Memphis was able to thwart any UCF attack the rest of the way.
Tonight's contest marks the second time the two teams have met in the Conference USA Tournament. UCF defeated Memphis, 1-0, in 2008, the last time the Tigers played in the tournament. Memphis is 8-9 all-time in the C-USA tourney, while winning the championship in 2004.
The game will be streamed on the C-USA Digital Network and can be followed on C-USA's Championship Central page. For updates on Memphis men's soccer, go to GoTigersGo.com.
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