Lady Tigers Pick Up C-USA Tournament Win in Double OT
Nov. 1, 2006
DALLAS - Kylie Hayes deflected in a pass from Halley Jo Sullivan in the second overtime Wednesday night to give the women's Memphis soccer program a 2-1 win over East Carolina and its first Conference USA Tournament win in nine years.
The tournament win is the first for Memphis since 1997 and the first since Conference USA changed the tournament to an eight-team format. It is also the Lady Tigers first win in four trips under head coach Brooks Monaghan.
"I'm ecstatic that we won and that we have the opportunity to move on," said Monaghan. "However, I don't feel that we played our best game today, and I think we need to improve if we want to win the next match."
East Carolina jumped ahead 1-0 just three minutes into the match when Blair Heffner caught Memphis keeper Isabel Briones out of the box on a breakaway and scored into an open net.
Memphis tied the score up in the13th minute, courtesy of senior forward Geneil Newbern. The Memphis native and reining C-USA Player of the Week stole the ball near the top of the box and drove it in past East Carolina keeper Amber Campbell.
The Lady Tigers narrowly missed scoring with seven minutes remaining in the half when Shoko Mikami's free kick from the top of the box sailed off of the cross bar.
The second half started at a breakneck pace with both teams racing up and down the field. The Pirates were able to control much of the action through the latter part of the period, but the Memphis defense held off several ECU opportunities and sent the match to overtime.
After scoreless first overtime, Hayes ended the game abruptly four minuets into the second tapping in a pass from Sullivan from the middle of the box for her 12th goal of the season.
"I give East Carolina a lot of credit," said Monaghan. "It was an evenly matched game, and we managed to come out on top."
The Lady Tigers will face UAB in the semifinals on Friday. It will be exactly one week after Memphis' season ending 4-2 victory over the Blazers in Birmingham.