Oduro's Winner Sends Memphis to Fourth-Straight C-USA Tournament Final
Nov. 5, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Memphis women's soccer squad clinched its fourth-straight appearance in the Conference USA Women's Soccer Championship game with a 1-0 victory over Houston on Friday at the UCF Soccer Complex.
"This is the conference championship and we're playing a lot of injured kids," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "You have to make them think about how many chances they get. We're playing for a fourth-straight championship and that rarely happens on any level. I told them to suck it up, play through the pain and give me 100 percent."
After Houston deflected a cross attempt from Ashley Berra out of bounds, C-USA Midfielder of the Year Vendula Strnadova played Memphis' sixth corner kick. A high arching kick by Strnadova was headed in by freshman Christabel Oduro to give Memphis the 1-0 lead at 51:36. It was Oduro's third career goal and Strnadova's seventh assist.
Just a few minutes later, Houston played a free kick from the right side near the corner and had a great chance at the equalizer. After two different cross attempts were cleared by the Tiger defense, Katelyn Rhodes of Houston gathered the ball and fired from the left side, hitting the left post.
"They (Memphis) played great individual defense on us all night and they had great team speed," said Houston head coach Susan Bush. "If we beat one of their players, then another one would be right there. Lizzy Simonin did a great job of covering. They did a good job of getting behind the ball early and that forced us to go backwards and made it harder to create a rhythm going forward. We had a great season though so we're not disappointed."
Another set piece opportunity for Houston was stopped by tough defense and a key stop by Lady Tiger netminder Elise Kuhar-Pitters. After a foul on Memphis in the middle of the field, Houston played a free kick from 35 yards away and Nicole Duarte received the pass. Duarte fired a shot from the left side from 12 yards toward the left post and Kuhar-Pitters dove to her right and punched the ball away for the save.
Memphis ended the game having out-shot the Cougars 9-7, and had a 6-2 shots on goal advantage. Kuhar-Pitters finished the match with two saves for Memphis and Cami Koski collected five saves for Houston.
The Lady Tigers will look to clinch its fourth-straight C-USA Tournament title on Sunday in the championship match slated for a 1 p.m. (CT) kick-off that is to be televised live on CBS College Sports. Memphis will face the winner of the UCF/SMU semifinal match.