Lady Tigers Jump Out to Early Lead to Advance To the 2009 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship Semifinals
Nov. 4, 2009
Dallas, Texas -The University of Memphis women's soccer team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and held on for a 6-2 victory over SMU at Westcott Field in Dallas, Texas to advance to the semifinals of the 2009 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship.
"When you get to the conference tournament, it is a whole new season and I thought SMU came out with a lot of energy," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "We got the first goal and then kept going. I am extremely pleased to get through this first match and now we have to get ready for the next one. It's one game at a time and you can't overlook anybody. I thought our players responded to the challenge today very well and we got to rest several players tonight which is huge since we will be playing a well rested team on Friday."
The Lady Tigers opened the scoring in the 11th minute when sophomore midfielder Julia Ignacio received a pass from C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Ashley Berra. Ignacio snapped an 11 game scoreless streak with her first goal since Sept. 20th. Berra notched her sixth assist of the season after serving the ball to Ignacio in the middle of the six yard box.
Sophomore forward Lizzy Simonin connected on her third goal of the season after a cross pass from Berra who was credited with her seventh assist of the season. With seven assists and 13 goals this season, Berra moved into a tie for the third-most points in a single season with 33.
"Ashley had a great game and she came through for us tonight" Monaghan said. "A lot of players stepped up tonight. Overall that was a great all-around performance by the girls and I am extremely proud of them."
C-USA All-Freshman team selection Taylor Isenhower scored her fifth goal of the season in the 18th minute to give the Lady Tigers the commanding 3-0 lead in the first half. Isenhower scored the goal from 25 yards out after a midfield assist from senior midfielder Tori Dalton.
SMU broke into the scoring column in the 36th minute with a goal by Kim Peabody. Peabody found the corner of the net after Kaitlyn Eidson passed the ball to Peabody from midfield.
"After we went up 3-0, we said let's rest some players and then they scored and got momentum going into the half," Monaghan said. "At the end of the day, we got the result we wanted and should be fairly fresh come Friday and that's the most important thing."
Both teams went into the dressing room with seven shots each, but Memphis held the 3-2 shots on goal advantage.
Berra tallied her team-leading 14th goal of the season in the 51st minute to give Memphis the 4-1 lead. The Cordova, Tenn. native, now has the third-most points in a single season with 35 and climbed into a tie for the third-most goals in a single season with 14.
Isenhower posted her second career multiple goal match with her second goal coming in the 57th minute. The Lenexa, Kan. native, received a pass from first team All-C-USA selection Vendula Strnadova and scored her fifth goal of the season from 18 yards out. Strnadova tallied her third assist of the season to break an eight-game scoreless streak.
"Taylor just continues to improve and she is peaking at the right time," Monaghan said. "She is starting to become consistent and that is huge. She has the ability to be a big time player and the consistency is great to see."
SMU posted their second goal of the match in the 69th minute when Kristin Medeiros fired the ball into the back of the net. Mediros scored from five yards out after an assist from Ryanne Lewis.
Junior forward Amanda Olszewski scored the Lady Tigers sixth goal of the match off an assist from Lady Tiger netminder Elise Kuhar-Pitters. Kuhar-Pitters punted the ball and Olszewski found the ball after the punt to score her fourth goal of the season.
Kuhar-Pitters finished the match with five saves and captured her 13th victory of the season. With 21 career victories, Kuhar-Pitters has tied former Lady Tiger keeper for the second-most victories in a career with her 21 victories.
"Elise can really smack the ball and that is great for us," Monaghan said. "It is a great win and we can't afford to get too high after a win. All of our focus is now on Colorado College."
With six goals in Wednesday's match, the Lady Tigers scored the most goals in a match since the 2007 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship which was a 6-0 victory for Memphis over Southern Miss.
The Lady Tigers outshot SMU 20-17 and held a 10-7 shots on goal advantage. Strnadova led Memphis with five shots, two of which were on goal, followed by Isenhower's three shots, two of which were on goal.
Memphis will return to action on Fri. Nov. 6th as they will take on Colorado College in the semifinals of the 2009 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship at approximately 7:30 p.m.