Ontario Duo Helps Lead Tigers Over Marshall 2-1
Oct. 9, 2005
Huntington, W.Va. - Alexandra Atkinson assisted on both of Memphis' first half goals and Joanna Alexopulos gave the Tigers an excellent performance in her first career game at goalkeeper as the Tigers defeated Marshall 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. The performance of the freshmen who both hail from Mississauga, Ontario and were club teammates prior to coming to Memphis, helped the Tigers improve to 8-4-0 overall and 2-1-0 in Conference USA.
Kylie Hayes scored her 10th goal of the season and Melissa Savage scored her first for the Tiger goals. Atkinson's two assists gave her three on the year and Robyn Smart also assisted on Savage's goal, her first assist of the season. Alexopulos was pressed into goalkeeper duty as a result of starting keeper Isabel Briones being unavailable for the game due to a suspension and she responded by giving up just the one goal, which came on a penalty kick, and making four saves to get the win in her first career game at goalkeeper at any level.
"I am proud of how the team reacted to what was an awkward situation today having a field player in goal and also bring on a long roadtrip and having our game on Friday rained out," said Memphis coach Brooks Monaghan. "We trained Joanna in goal all week and she came out and played really well. The entire team played hard."
Memphis had a goal called back in the 25th minute as Shoko Mikami had appeared to score her 14th goal of the year but it was called back when Hayes was whistled for being offside. Hayes got redemption just a few minutes later, when, at the 28:52 mark, she got a breakaway and finished from about 10 yards out after Atkinson fed her with a pass.
Marshall tied the game just a few minutes later at 33:07 when the Thundering Herd were awarded a penalty kick, which was converted by Emma White. However, the game would not be tied for long as the Savage scored her first goal of the season to make it 2-1. Atkinson once again began the scoring play when she led Smart down the right sideline with a pass. Smart then dribbled down the right sideline and served a ball over the top that Savage ran through to get and beat Marshall keeper Kai Nordness at the 40:31 mark. It was just the second career goal for Savage, with her only other goal coming last year.
"It was a team effort. We had to fight hard for everything we got," said Monaghan. "We didn't have our best game overall but we played hard and were fortunate to get the win."
The Tigers will now return home to take on defending Conference USA champion UAB on Friday, October 14. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
Postgame Notes: This was just the fourth game that Mikami has been held scoreless ... Hayes has now scored a goal in nine out of 12 games ... Either Hayes or Mikami has scored a goal in all but one game this year ... Robyn Smart recorded her first point of the year on her first assist of the year, helping out on Savage's goal. Smart was tied for second on the team in assists last year with four ... The Tigers are one game behind last year's record after 12 games at 8-4. Memphis was 9-3 through 12 games last year ... Alexopulos' appearance in goal marked the first time this year that someone other than Isabel Briones received time in goal for the Tigers ... The penalty kick by Marshall was the first that Memphis allowed this year.