Memphis Suffers First C-USA Loss at UTEP, 4-1
Oct. 7, 2012
EL PASO, Texas - UTEP (9-6, 2-4-0 C-USA) scored four goals in the second half and Memphis (9-4-0, 5-1-0 C-USA) dropped its first Conference USA match in over a year in a 4-1 loss on Sunday."I am extremely disappointed, but credit to UTEP because they wanted it more than us today," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "We didn't deserve to win today and UTEP turned it to a physical game. We let them dictate the style of play and that was a direct game. We don't play well when we let teams dictate the game. We had a few opportunities and we have to bury those, but today Memphis soccer didn't deserve to win. We just got beat."
UTEP gained control early as Tess Hall fired a shot on frame, but freshman goalkeeper Christa Strickland came up with the save at the 2:41 mark. Memphis worked the ball down the field the opposite way, but a shot by Kaitlyn Atkinswas blocked by the Miners defense.
The Miners had a great chance to take the lead in the 24th minute as Tess Hall fired a shot toward goal. Memphis was able to block the shot with its defensive spacing, but the ball rolled over the end line resulting in a corner kick. Hall served the corner kick in and Tayler O'Hayre registered a shot, but it sailed wide keeping the game knotted at 0-0.
After a foul and yellow card was issued on Diamond Simpson, Hall found herself in the center of attention again. Hall blasted a shot off the free kick, but Strickland went high and tipped the shot over the net to force a UTEP corner kick.
UTEP out-shot the U of M 7-4 in the first half and held a 3-0 advantage in shots on goal. Memphis' only quality chance came in the 37th minute as Nicole Ziedler's shot went inches wide of the target.
The Miners wasted no time going on the attack out of the halftime break. Hall served a corner kick into the box in the 50th minute and Azia Nicholson was able to get a header off, but the header was wide of the target to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
Moments later, Hall played another corner kick for Tori Martyn in the box. Martyn put the header on frame for the goal to give UTEP the 1-0 lead. Martyn repeated the goal off corner kick from Hall in the 58th minute to give UTEP the 2-0 lead.
The Miners 2-0 lead was short lived though as Memphis scored 30 seconds later. Christabel Odurobenefited from the mishandled clear by UTEP goalkeeper and put away her 11th goal of the season, cutting the lead to 2-1. With the goal, Oduro records the 30th of her career, the fourth player in program history to reach that milestone. With the two points, she moved to fourth all-time with 78 career points.
UTEP regained the two-goal advantage in the 65th minute as Jade Babbock launched a rocket to Strickland. The freshman keeper made the initial save, but Hall cleaned up the rebound for the goal and the Miners took the 3-1 lead. Babbock added a goal in the 81st minute to give the Miners the decisive 4-1 lead.
Memphis was out-shot 17-11 on the game, and UTEP held a significant 9-3 advantage in shots on goal. Strickland finished with five saves while UTEP goalkeeper Sarah Dilling made two stops.
Memphis' eight-game road winning streak in C-USA matches ends where the last loss took place in 2010. The Miners carry a 6-4 advantage in the series and Memphis falls to 1-3 against UTEP in El Paso."In conference play, we have a big target on our back," Monaghan said. "If we don't bring it every game, we won't be good enough. Today we didn't show up."
Memphis plays host to Rice on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Game of the Week on Fox Soccer Channel. Senior day is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday against Houston.