Lady Tiger Soccer Season Preview
With the loss of their head coach and two graduating seniors, the 2000 season looks to be a year of rebuilding and also a glimpse into the near future for the University of Memphis Lady Tigers. Interim head coach Brooks Monaghan will be looking for his returning players to take on the task of starting a new era for the Lady Tiger soccer program in the new millenium. He has 12 letterwinners coming back, nine of whom were starters. With the addition of nine highly-touted incoming freshman, the 2000 Lady Tiger campaign appears to have a bright future. This year's squad features four seniors, all of whom are eager to end their U of M careers on a high note. Nicole Bates-Eamer, Michelle Meehan, Candice Spiniolas and Tori Winslett will all be key to the Lady Tigers success during their final season at Memphis. Bates-Eamer, a native of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, is the sweeper. She started 54 games the past three years, including all 18 matches last season and has scored three goals and assisted on three others, despite playing defense throughout the majority of her career. She was the anchor of the Lady Tiger defense last season and is also the vocal leader of the squad. Meehan, a forward and the lone Memphis native of this years senior class, notched her first career strike for the Lady Tigers in 1998, during a 6-0 rout of Lousiville. She appeared in all 18 games for Memphis last season, and worked herself into the starting line-up 12 times. Last season, she recorded two goals and an assist while taking 17 shots. At the beginning of this season, Meehan will have 57 games of Division I collegiate soccer experience, which will certainly help lead the Lady Tigers into the new millenium. Spiniolas, a Cary, Ill., native and Valparaiso transfer, has been the Lady Tigers offensive weapon for the past two years . Spiniolas, with her solid offensive skills and awareness, is a hard-worker and will look to add to her already impressive resume', in 2000. In 1999 she enjoyed a solid junior season posting 7 goals and grabbing two assists for a team-high 16 points. She recorded two multi-goal efforts during 1999, striking twice in a 7-0 thrashing of Rhodes College and also recorded the Lady Tigers only hat-trick of the season when she scored three goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-0 win over SEC rival Mississippi State. In a 6-1thumping of Belmont, she converted the only penalty kick that the Lady Tigers were awarded all season. Spiniolas appeared in all 18 games like the rest of her senior classmates, while starting 16 times. Winslett, a Seabrook, Tex., native, started every match last season at forward. She is a solid all-around player who leads by example. During 1999, she tallied three goals and five assists, to finish with 11 points on the year. Winslett has now appeared in 50 games for Memphis while racking up nine goals and ten assists, as she enters her fourth year at the U of M. The Lady Tiger offense bosts three seniors and will also feature sophomore forward Becca Amrozowicz. Last year, over the course of the season it appeared that Spiniolas and Amrozowicz were perhaps Memphis' most lethal combination. The pair were first and second, respectively, in goals and points for the Uof M in 1999. This pair hopes to continue causing fits for opposing teams with their offensive potency in 2000. Amrozowicz, a C-USA all-freshman team selection, made a name for herself in her debut season, displaying good speed and solid skills. She appeared in every game as a freshman and managed to get the starting nod 14 times in 1999. She was the second leading scorer with six goals and also second on the team in points with 12. The U of M midfield will be led by junior Michelle Meduri and sophomore Alison Baker. Meduri does a great job of maintaining possession in the midfield and is always looking to pass first. She played in 17 games, starting 16 times in 1999. She finished last season with two assists and two points. Baker, made an immediate impact in the Lady Tiger midfield with her quick feet and deceptive touch. She saw action in all 18 games and broke into the starting line-up 14 times in 1999. Baker finished fifth on the team in scoring with four goals and one assist, and ended up with nine points during her freshman campaign. Helping lead the Lady Tiger defense along with Bates-Eamer is sophomore Molly Danaher. Danaher, a defender, was one of only three Lady Tigers (along with Bates-Eamer and Winslett) to have started all 18 games last year. Known for her hard-nosed play, she recorded an assist in 1999 and is looking to help guide the Lady Tiger defense into the 2000 season. Monaghan will also be looking to the newcomers, led by Jennifer Goff (Oak Ridge, Tn.), Kari Rawe (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and Katarina Wicksell (Halmstead, Sweden) for immediate impacts. Rawe and Wicksell will be tested early, having been thrust into the disctinction of being the only goalkeepers for the Lady Tigers. Frances Currin, who is the career saves leader for Lady Tiger soccer with 326, graduated this past spring.
The Lady Tigers will open up their season with a West Coast tour, featuring games at Sacramento State and San Francisco in late August. During the month of September, they will host non-conference opponents Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee and Southeastern Louisiana, in addition to conference matches with DePaul and Marquette. On the road they will venture to Southwest Missouri State, followed by conference games at Charlotte, South Florida and Tulane.
The final stretch in October will consist of four home games, three of which feature conference battles with Southern Miss, Louisville and Cincinnati. The Lady Tigers will then travel to take on conference opponents UAB, Saint Louis and Houston as well as, matches at SEC-rivals Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. Their season will then conclude with a home contest against cross-town rival Christian Brothers University.