Christabel Oduro's 66th Minute Strike Sends No. 9 Memphis Past Rice, 1-0
Sept. 25, 2011
HOUSTON - Christabel Oduro put away a goal in the 66th minute and Elise Kuhar-Pitters came up with seven saves in goal as No. 9 Memphis (10-0-0, 2-0-0 C-USA) earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Rice (5-3-1, 1-1-0 C-USA) on Sunday.
After 65 minutes of even play on each side, Christabel Oduro provided her fifth goal of the season to give Memphis the 1-0 lead. Melissa Smith served the pass to Oduro, who stood at the top of the keeper's box and drilled the strike past the keeper for the score. It was Smith's third assist of the season."I thought we deserved to win today and I was pleased with the way we played," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "Our down moment in the game was the beginning of the second half. I thought we fought through the tough conditions. Rice was one of the toughest team we have played all year and that's a credit to their squad."
Following the score by Oduro, Rice stepped up the pressure on the Lady Tigers and had a great scoring chance in the 79th minute. Quinney Troung brought the ball upfield and attempted a cross up the field. Kuhar-Pitters came up to play the ball, but Troung was able to get to the ball and punch the ball towards the net. The strike was high and a Memphis defender headed the ball back in play before it could go over the end line for a corner kick. Hope Ward collected the ball and served it in the box for Troung and she fired a shot, but Kuhar-Pitters made the save.
As has been the case in the past two matches, the Memphis defense would be tested early in the match. Just 52 seconds into the match, Hayley Williams headed a shot toward the frame, but Kuhar-Pitters denied the scoring chance.
The Lady Tigers finished the first half with a 12-4 edge in shots. Rice placed all four of their shots on goal, but Kuhar-Pitters denied each. The U of M had two shots on goal in the first frame, but had seven corner kicks in the period. The Memphis defense posted its 10th-straight match without allowing a goal in the first half."Elise didn't have to make big time saves, but she made everything look easy." Monaghan said. "She gives our whole team confidence and today was a day she didn't have to make the big save. I thought our total defensive effort was great against a solid Rice squad."
Memphis finished the match having out-shot the Owls 16-8. Rice held a 7-4 shots on goal advantage, but Kuhar-Pitters denied all seven. Kuhar-Pitters posted her sixth shutout in 10 matches this season. Oduro lead Memphis with four shots in the match, two of which were on goal.
With 10 wins on the season, Memphis has posted the ninth 10-plus win season in program history and the eighth-straight overall. Head Coach Brooks Monaghan collected his 135th career victory on Sunday and has guided Memphis to a 73-20-6 record since 2007. The Lady Tigers improve to 16-3-3 in road conference matches since the 2007 season. The U of M, on a program-best 10-game win streak, is one win or tie shy of tying the longest unbeaten streak in program history. Since the 2007 season, Memphis is 20-2-1 on Sundays and in that span, the Lady Tigers have outscored opponents 54-11 with 14 shutouts.
The Lady Tigers close a five-game road trip next weekend with matches at Marshall (Sept. 30, 6 p.m.) and East Carolina (Oct. 2, 1 p.m.). Memphis returns to the Bluff City on Oct. 7 to face SMU.