Lady Tigers Open Preseason Camp
Aug. 2, 2010
Memphis, Tenn. – The University of Memphis women’s soccer team began its’ quest for a fourth-straight Conference USA Championship on Monday as the squad arrived on campus to begin the 2010 season.
After physicals and a compliance meeting on Monday, the Lady Tigers will hit the practice field on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. to officially begin the 2010 season.
"These kids are hungry for a fourth championship," head Coach Brooks Monaghan said. "With this group, all they know is winning. They know what it takes, and that's a key. It takes a ton of work to win at that level. I believe in this group. Another important thing is getting the new kids to buy in to our philosophy. The past several years, we've been very fortunate to have freshmen step up and perform and that is a hard thing to do. There are some players in this group that I definitely expect to step up as well."
Last season, Memphis became the first C-USA school to claim three-straight championships. Coach Monaghan expects a fourth title, but the expectations do not stop there.
“We have extremely high expectations this year,” Monaghan said. “Coming off three-straight championships, we expect a fourth and our expectations are also to go further in the NCAA Tournament. On paper, we feel that we will have one of the strongest teams we have ever had. We feel that if we can get all the pieces of the puzzle together, these goals are very realistic.”
The pieces of the puzzle for Coach Monaghan and staff include 22 of 29 letterwinners from a season ago and 10 of 11 starters. Senior forward Ashley Berra, the 2009 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, and three-time All-C-USA first team selection Vendula Strnadova headline the returning starters from a senior class that has posted 48 victories in three seasons and is on pace to break the school-record of 59.
After a preseason match-up at Western Kentucky University on Aug. 13, the Lady Tigers will travel to St. Louis, Mo., on Fri., Aug. 20 to take on the Saint Louis University Billikens to open the 2010 season. Memphis will open the season on the road for the second-straight season and third time since 2006 with which the Lady Tigers sport a 3-0 record.
Memphis will open the home non-conference schedule two days later with the Lady Tigers hosting the Samford Bulldogs on Aug. 22. The following weekend, the LSU Tigers, a three-time defending SEC West Division Champion, will visit the Bluff City for a Saturday night match-up on Aug. 28.
“Every year it gets tougher to win because you have a bigger target on your back,” Monaghan said. “For us, it is one game at a time. We will keep our goals in the back of our minds and hope to repeat as conference champions and advance further in the NCAA Tournament.”