Lady Tiger Soccer Opens Season With a Pair of Road Contests
Aug. 26, 2004
Lady Tiger Soccer Opens Season with Pair of Road Contests
Sunday, August 29 - at Alabama A&M, 2:00 p.m. A&M Soccer Complex (700), Normal, Ala.
Tuesday, August 31 - at Ole Miss, 7:00 p.m. Ole Miss Soccer Stadium (1,500), Oxford, Miss.
This Week: The Lady Tigers open the season with two road games against a pair of opponents that they played last year. They will play at Alabama A&M on Sunday and then travel to Oxford, Miss. to take on Ole Miss on the same date that the two teams played last season, also in Oxford.
Looking Ahead: Memphis opens its home schedule with a game against Middle Tennessee State on Sunday, September 5 at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex at 1:00 p.m. That will be the first of three straight games they will play against in-state competition, the next of which comes on Wednesday, September 8 at Tennessee-Martin. The busy week will be wrapped up by a home contest against Tennessee Tech on Friday, September 10 at 8:00 p.m. That game will be part of a men's/women's doubleheader, with the Memphis men's soccer team playing Western Kentucky at 6:00 p.m. prior to the women's game.
Scouting Alabama A&M: The Bulldogs are coming off a 2003 season in which they went 9-12-1. However they went 4-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), finished in first place, and also won the inaugural SWAC tournament championship last year. Alabama A&M is beginning just its fifth season of varsity soccer, as the program was started in 2000. Despite their overall record of under .500, the Bulldogs did finish their home slate of games last year with an over-.500 mark of 5-3.
The Bulldogs did suffer some losses from last year's team, as they lost seven starters, including their top five scorers. The leading returning scorer is Samara Jankes, who scored three goals for six points in 2003. The Bulldogs have just two seniors on this year's roster.
Scouting Ole Miss: The Rebels went 15-6-2 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They went 4-3-2 in Southeastern Conference play, 1-1 in the SEC Tournament, and put up an impressive 9-2-2 mark at home, including a 7-0 win over Memphis. Ole Miss defeated Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to conference rival Florida in double overtime in the second round.
Ole Miss returns seven starters, including their top three points scorers and four of their top five goal scorers from 2003. Kristal Menard (22 pts.) and Karen Hall (19) each scored seven goals while Brittney Potts (18) and Ashley Ferree (14) each had six. Ten players that scored at least one goal and 11 players that recorded at least one assist return.
The Coaches: Brooks Monaghan (Memphis, 1994) is in his fifth year as head coach of the Lady Tigers. He holds a career record of 28-44-5 during his time with the Tigers. Prior to becoming the head coach, he served as the goalkeepers coach for the Lady Tigers from 1996-99. He has been a part of the Lady Tiger program for all but one year of its existence, that being the first year of the program in 1995. Under his guidance in his first year as goalkeepers coach, the team's gaa dropped by nearly an entire goal, from 2.74 to 1.77. Monaghan is the all-time leader in shutouts (24) and goals against average (1.40) for the Memphis men's soccer program, which he played for from 1992-94.
Frank Davies (Alabama-Huntsville, 1989) is in his fifth year at Alabama A&M, as he has been the only coach in the program's brief history. He has a career record of 34-73-3 in six total seasons and a mark of 19-53-2 in his four years at AAMU. He led the Bulldogs to the inaugural SWAC championship last season.
Steve Holeman (Wake Forest, 1990) is in his 10th year as head coach at Ole Miss and his 11th season of coaching overall, having also spent a single season as head coach at Auburn after beginning that program before beginning the women's soccer program at Ole Miss. The only coach in the 10-year history of the Rebel program, he holds a career record of 107-79-12 and a 100-73-9 mark in his time at Ole Miss. He has led the Rebels to eight straight seasons with a .500 record or better and has guided them to two straight SEC West championships as well as two straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
UM All-Time vs. Alabama A&M: Memphis holds a 1-0 all-time record against Alabama A&M, defeating the Bulldogs 5-1 last season on October 10. Yuiko Konno scored two goals while Nicky McLeod had a goal and an assist. Madison Cheek had a goal and recorded two assists while Annika Moller tied a conference record by recording three assists.
UM All-Time vs. Ole Miss: The Tigers hold a 1-5-1 all-time mark against Ole Miss. The teams played every year from 1995-99 and again in 2001 and 2003. Memphis's lone victory in the series came in 2001, a 1-0 triumph in Memphis. Last season, exactly one year ago on August 31, the Rebels topped the Tigers 7-0 in Oxford, which was one of only two losses on the year for the Tigers by more than one goal.
UM vs. the SWAC: Memphis holds a 1-0 all-time record against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the only meeting being with Alabama A&M last year, a 5-1 Tiger victory.
UM vs. the SEC: The Tigers have a 5-18-3 all-time mark against teams from the Southeastern Conference. Three of those wins have come against Mississippi State, a team the Tigers will play later this year, while one has come against Ole Miss and the other against Tennessee. UM's last win over an SEC school came in 2002, a 3-2 overtime win against Mississippi State. The Lady Tigers have played at least one SEC school every year since the program's inception in 1995.
Redshirts Return: In addition to the seven true freshmen and one transfer that are new to the Lady Tiger roster this year, two freshmen that redshirted last year with injuries return to action this year, making for a total of 10 new players. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Isabel Briones will battle true freshman Natalie Haerens for the starting position between the pipes while redshirt freshman forward Candace Halvorson will provide depth up front. Both Briones and Halvorson sustained knee injuries last summer, forcing them to redshirt.
All-C-USA Honorees Return: The Tigers return two All-Conference players from last year. Those same two players also were named to this year's preseason All-C-USA team. Yuiko Konno tied for the league lead in goals with 12 and also led the conference in points per game and goals per game while Nicky McLeod started all 18 games and scored two goals on four assists while anchoring the Tiger midfield.
Exhibition Games: The Tigers played two exhibition games in preparation for the regular season. On August 17, Memphis defeated the women's soccer alumni team 6-2. Sophomore Madison Cheek scored two goals while senior Susannah Dawells had one. A trio of freshmen, Vicki Greenwell, Carla Scanniello, and Candace Halvorson also added one goal apiece. All six goals for the Tigers were scored in the first half.
On August 20, the Tigers traveled to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to take on Southeast Missouri State. After trailing 1-0 at halftime, Memphis rallied for three second-half goals to turn the deficit into an 3-1 victory. Once again, it was a trio of freshmen that provided the offense. Greenwell and Scanniello added their second tallies of the preseason while Caroline Barrett added the other goal. Barrett and Scanniello each assisted on each other's goals while Annika Moller also added an assist.
Home, Sweet Home: This season will see a bit of a change as far as playing facilities go, as the Tigers will play all of their home games at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex after only playing conference games there the past two years. Throughout the history of the program, the Lady Tigers have a substantially better record at home than on the road. UM is 43-39-5 all-time at home but only 17-61-3 on the road. On neutral fields, the Tigers are 2-4-1, but have played just one match on a neutral field since 1997.
Drawing First Blood: The Lady Tigers were more successful last year when they scored first. Out of their 18 games, they scored first in eight of them, while their opponent drew first blood in nine of them. In the eight games in which they scored first, they went 4-2-2 but only went 1-8-0 when their opponent scored first. The Tigers won their last three games in which they scored first.
Leading at Halftime is Better: The Tigers led at halftime in just four games last year but not surprisingly, they went 4-0-0 in those such games. When trailing at the half, their record was an opposite 0-4-0. When tied at the half, they went just 1-6-3. The Tigers have won seven straight games when leading at the half dating back to 2002.
Youth and Experience Mix: The makeup of this season's team should make for a smooth transition to the future, not to mention what the Lady Tigers hope will be a successful year this season. This year's edition of the Tigers has seven seniors and four juniors, which make up the core of the team. However, there are also nine freshmen on the team, made up of seven newcomers and two redshirt freshmen, that will provide depth and should battle for playing time with the veterans.
Foreign Presence: This year's team will have a diverse ethnic makeup as nearly half (40 percent) of the team is made up of foreign players. The Tigers have six natives of England, one native of Sweden, two players from Japan, and one from Canada, in addition to the 15 players from the U.S. In addition to the foreign presence, the Tigers also have representatives from 12 different states on the team. Each of those 12 states has only one representative except for Tennessee, which has four natives on the Tigers.
For Starters: The Tigers are 3-6 all-time in season openers. They lost their first three season openers from 1995-97, then won two straight from 1998-99 before losing in 2000 and 2001. After winning once again in 2002, they dropped the season opener to Mississippi State last year.
Recruits Ranked by Soccer Buzz: This year's freshman class has been ranked the 23rd best recruiting class in the Central Region by Soccer Buzz. This is the second straight year that the Lady Tiger recruiting class has been ranked in the regional rankings by the online publication, as last season's freshman class was ranked 11th in the region and was also in the upper half of the national top 100 classes, coming in at 46. Memphis's freshman class is the second-highest rated class in Conference USA in the Central Region, coming in just behind Houston, which came in 22nd.
Captains Named: Head coach Brooks Monaghan has named seniors Susannah Dawells and Mary Shelton co-captains for the 2004 season. Dawells has started 26 of the 51 games she has appeared in during her three years at Memphis while recording five career assists from her midfield position. Shelton is entering her third season as a captain, having been named one prior to the 2002 season. She has been a model of consistency during her three years at Memphis, as she has started 55 of 56 career games. She has scored four career goals from her defender position and will anchor what is expected to be a strong defensive backfield for the Tigers this year.