Tiger Women's Soccer Plays First of Three Straight Against In-State Foes
Sept. 2, 2004
Tigers Play First of Three Straight Against In-State Foes Sunday, September 5 vs. Middle Tennessee State, 1:00 p.m. Mike Rose Soccer Complex (3,000), Collierville, Tenn.
This Weekend: After opening the season with two straight wins on the road, Memphis opens its home schedule with a game against Middle Tennessee State on Sunday, September 5 at 1:00 p.m.
Looking Ahead: The Lady Tigers will play two more games against in-state competition this upcoming week. First, they will travel up to Martin, Tenn. to take on Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. They then return home on Friday, September 10 to play Tennessee Tech at 8:00 p.m. at Mike Rose, which will be the second game of a doubleheader with the Memphis men's soccer team, which takes on Western Kentucky at 6:00 p.m.
Scouting Middle Tennessee State: The Blue Raiders enter Friday night's game at Belmont with an 0-2 record after dropping their first two games to Mississippi State and Ole Miss, respectively, both on the road. MTSU took a 1-0 lead against MSU but after tying it, the Bulldogs scored the game-winning goal with just 30 seconds remaining in the game for a 2-1 win. Two days later, the Blue Raiders lost to Ole Miss 4-1. Rebecca Rodriguez and Debs Brereton have scored the two goals on the year for the Blue Raiders. Rodriguez led MTSU in goals last year with 12 and was second in points with 28.
The Coaches: Brooks Monaghan (Memphis, 1994) is in his fifth year as head coach of the Lady Tigers. He holds a career record of 30-44-5 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. Aston Rhoden (Alabama-Huntsville, 1989), is in his third year as head coach at Middle Tennessee State. He holds a career record of 59-71-4 in eight seasons and a 20-21-3 mark at MTSU. He coached at Division II North Alabama for six years before coming to MTSU.
UM All-Time vs. MTSU: The Tigers hold a 1-0 all-time record against the Blue Raiders, with the teams' lone meeting coming in 2000. On September 2 of that year, the Tigers defeated MTSU 4-0 in Memphis.
UM vs. The Sun Belt: Memphis is 3-2-1 all-time against teams currently in the Sun Belt Conference.
Tigers Regain Upper Hand vs. Ole Miss: With a 1-0 win over Ole Miss on Tuesday, the Tigers successfully avenged their worst loss of last season and also defeated the Rebels for the first time since 2001. Ole Miss, which returned most of its team from last season's squad the won the SEC West and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, was ranked #8 in the Central Region by Soccer Buzz and received votes in the preseason top 25 NSCAA poll.
Memphis Breaks Ole Miss Streak: The win over Ole Miss also ended a streak. The Rebels had won 16 straight non-conference game at home and had not lost in their last 22 non-conference games at home, winning 21 and tying one. Their last lost at home prior to Tuesday night was against San Diego State in 1999.
Finding the Offense ...: The Lady Tigers will be looking for some more scoring options this season and with just two regular season games and two exhibitions under their belts, perhaps they have found some. In four games this year, including the two exhibitions, Memphis has scored 14 goals, and nine have come from freshmen.
... Without All C-USA Returnees: Making the performance in the first two games of the year even more impressive is that the Tigers have been without 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. She is attending classes at Memphis while waiting on an NCAA ruling concerning her eligibility. Nicky McLeod started all 18 games last year and scored two goals on four assists while anchoring the Tiger midfield. She injured her knee during the spring and is hoping to return before the end of the month.
Scanniello Starts Strong: Freshman Carla Scanniello scored two goals against Alabama A&M last Sunday. Just two games into the season, she is already halfway to equaling the total number of goals she scored as a senior at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colo., when she had four goals.
Haerens Hard to Beat: Another freshman has made a mark in her first two games as well, only this one from the defensive end. Freshman goalkeeper Natalie Haerens has recorded shutouts in her first two collegiate appearances. Against Alabama A&M, she made five saves and then faced 18 shots against Ole Miss, making eight saves.
Defense Dazzles Early On: Haerens has been just a part of the defense that has not allowed a single goal in the first two games. Expected to be a strong point of the team this year, the backfield has lived up to its billing thus far. In just two games so far this year, the Tigers have recorded two shutouts after only recording three all of last year.
Home Openers: Sunday's game is the home opener for the Lady Tigers. Memphis is 6-2-1 all-time in home openers. Their last loss came in last season's home opener to Mississippi State. Their last win at home to open the season was in 2002 against Northeastern, which was the last time they appeared in the C-USA Tournament. The Tigers won five straight home openers from 1996-2000.
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.
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. This year, the Tigers have scored first in both of their games and are 2-0. They have now won five straight games in which they scored first dating back to last year.
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 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 eight straight games when leading at the half dating back to 2002. This year, the Tigers are 1-0 when leading at the half and 1-0 when tied at the half.
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.
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.