Challenging Schedule Awaits Four-Time Defending C-USA Champions
April 27, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's soccer team and head coach Brooks Monaghan look to remain one of the nation's best as they will embark on a new campaign with the release of a challenging 2011 schedule.
"I am very pleased with the schedule," Monaghan said. "I think it is extremely challenging and one that prepares us for conference play. By the time we get to league play, we will have played several different styles."
The Lady Tigers kickoff the 2011 slate at home against LSU on Friday, August 19. LSU, one of four SEC foes on the schedule, will be the first of 10 opponents that finished the 2010 campaign with a RPI of 100 or better.
Prior to its home opener against LSU on Aug. 19, the Lady Tigers host NCAA Tournament qualifier Auburn in a preseason exhibition match on Aug. 13. The U of M then welcomes UALR on Aug. 21 to close the opening weekend at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
In its first road trip of 2011, Memphis heads to Alabama for matches with the Alabama Crimson Tide (Sept. 26) and the Samford Bulldogs (Sept. 28).
A trip to Western Kentucky follows on Sept. 4 before the Lady Tigers return home for their final non-conference home games against Ole Miss (Sept. 9) and Charlotte (Sept. 11).
After closing the non-conference slate at Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, Memphis will open league play with a four-game road trip. The league opener is at Houston on Sept. 23. The Lady Tigers play at Rice (Sept. 25), at Marshall (Sept. 30) and at East Carolina (Oct. 2) for the first four C-USA games.
The home portion of the league schedule features a four-game homestand that starts with a matchup against SMU on Oct. 7. Tulsa (Oct. 9), UTEP (Oct. 14) and Colorado College (Oct. 16) will also visit the Bluff City for league games.
The four-time defending C-USA champions close the season on a three-game road trip that takes the squad to Southern Miss (Oct. 21), UCF (Oct. 23) and UAB (Oct. 27).
The U of M will host the 2011 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship at Mike Rose Soccer Complex Nov. 2-Nov. 6.
"You want a schedule that puts you in a good situation in regards to NCAA selection," Monaghan said. "We feel this schedule is challenging and allows us to control our own destiny. If we do well, we should have the opportunity to be a tournament team."
Memphis will return 17 players, including eight starters from its 2010 squad that compiled a 15-4-3 record (7-1-3 C-USA), winning its fourth-straight C-USA championship and advancing to the NCAA Women's College Cup for the fourth-straight season. The Lady Tigers return 54 percent offensive production from that club, led by junior forward Taylor Isenhower and sophomore forward Rasheeda Ansari. All three goalkeepers return for the 2011 season and C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Lizzy Simonin returns for her senior season.