Lady Tigers Remain Tied for C-USA Lead After 3-3 Tie at ECU
Oct. 26, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. -The University of Memphis women's soccer team remains in a tie with East Carolina for the C-USA lead after a 3-3 double overtime tie this afternoon against the same East Carolina Pirates. The tie brings the Memphis record to 11-4-2 overall and 7-2-1 in C-USA play. With only one game remaining in the 2008 regular season, the Lady Tigers are knotted at the top of the C-USA leader board with 21 points.
"The kids played really well overall," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "It shows something for our kids that we were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit. They scored off of two corners which was a result of poor defending. We made a few mistakes that they capitalized on, and just a credit to East Carolina for doing that."
Coming into Sunday's game, both teams were tied for the C-USA lead with 21 points. With only one game left on the regular season slate, this meant that the worst the winner could do was a tie for the C-USA title. With so much on the line, the Lady Tigers were able to come back from 3-1 down at the 56 minute mark to eventually tie up the game and send the important contest into overtime. No one could capitalize in either overtime periods and both East Carolina and Memphis came out with 1 point and a tie to their record. Both teams are tied at 22 with UCF not far behind in third place with 20 points.
"It was a really good soccer game though," said Monaghan "I'm pleased with the girls because they came out and they battled hard. They never gave up, they kept going at them, and I'm proud of them for that. If they can keep coming out with that mentality, we're good enough to win."
In the first half, the Memphis offense sent 14 shots flying and seven on goal, but only freshman midfielder Lizzy Hildebrandt was able to capitalize in the 30th minute of the first half on a header off a cross from sophomore Krista Turner.
East Carolina scored two goals out of halftime making the score 3-1 in favor of the Pirates at the 56 minute mark.
At the 67 minute mark, Lizzy Simonin sent a shot at the goal, but was denied by the post. Senior Kylie Hayes was in the right place at the right time as she put back the rebound to cut the deficit to 3-2 on her fifth goal of 2008 and second of the weekend.
Shortly after in the 71st minute of the game, Lizzy Simonin let another shot fly, but this time she was true knotting the game back up at 3-3 on her seventh goal of the season.
"I did feel that we controlled most of the game, but that's what they are good at, capitalizing on opponents' mistakes. They did that today. We had some chances to win the game in overtime, but we just couldn't capitalize on a few different opportunities."
Only one game remains on the Lady Tigers' 2008 schedule. The last game of the season sends Memphis to Birmingham, Ala. on a short week to take on the Blazers of UAB. at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30.
"This now makes things interesting," said Monaghan of the upcoming week. "There will be a lot riding on Thursday's game in regards to going after a championship. We just need to get our legs back underneath us, and focus on carrying the momentum of Sunday's game into Thursday. I think if we do, we will give ourselves a pretty good chance."
If Memphis grabs a victory, it also grabs at least a share of the C-USA title with East Carolina. With a loss at UAB, the worst the Lady Tigers could finish is in a tie for third place. The Lady Tigers have not lost since they dropped a 2-1 contest on Oct. 5 at Colorado College. They had won five straight coming into Sunday's contest and worked themselves back in the running for a C-USA regular season title for the second year in a row.
"As a coach, you hope that your team can peak at the right time," said Monaghan. "I'd say our play is coming together really well, and I'm pleased about that. Now, we just need to keep this going because we have another championship in our sights and Thursday is the most important game for us this year."
The regular season wraps up next week and seeds will be set accordingly for the Conference USA Championships. The C-USA Tournament will be played at Rice Soccer Stadium in Houston, Texas and will be hosted by Rice University. First round play begins on Nov. 5 and wraps up on Nov. 9 with the C-USA Tournament Championship.