No. 16 Memphis Set for Clash With Ole Miss on Friday
Go Tigers! Kaitlyn Atkins leads C-USA with four assists this season
Go Tigers!
Kaitlyn Atkins leads C-USA with four assists this season
Go Tigers!

Sept. 8, 2011




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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The 16th-ranked University of Memphis women’s soccer squad returns to Mike Rose Soccer Complex to host rival Ole Miss on Friday at 7 p.m.

Friday's match along with Sunday’s 2 p.m. clash with Charlotte is part of "Heroes Weekend." All police, fire, EMS, and military personnel will get free admission for them and their families with ID.

Penalty Kicks
After starting the season 5-0 for the for the first time in program history, the University of Memphis women’s soccer team looks to improve as the Lady Tigers return to the Bluff City following a three-game road trip.

The U of M concludes the non-conference home schedule with matches against Ole Miss and Charlotte this weekend. Memphis will then hit the road for a five-game road trip. Memphis meets Ole Miss for the15th time in the history of the program. The two sides have met in 15 of the 16 seasons since the U of M Women’s Soccer inception in 1995. In 2002, Ole Miss and Memphis did not meet.

Player of the Week
Breaking the career shutouts and victories marks by a goalkeeper in the program record book, Elise Kuhar-Pitters was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week by the league office on Monday.

The selection was the 15th time a U of M student-athlete has earned defensive player of the week honors. It was also the third-straight selection for the U of M this season. Lizzy Simonin and Christie Kline earned defensive player of the week honors in week one and two, respectively. The three-straight selections mark the first time in program history that Lady Tigers were selected in consecutive weeks.

Scouting Memphis
Memphis began the 2011 season as winners of four-straight C-USA Tournament Championships. How many teams have accomplished such a feat? In NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer just 13 programs have claimed four or more consecutive conference championships. Memphis and Boston University of the American East Conference carry the nation’s longest active championship streak.

The Lady Tigers returned nine starters and 15 letterwinners from the 2010 squad. Led by C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Lizzy Simonin, the Memphis defense appears to be the strength of the club as the team readies for the 2011 season.

Nearly half of the roster this season is represented by newcomers with 15 players in their first season of collegiate soccer. Eight freshmen have seen minutes thus far, accounting for roughly 50 percent of the scoring.

Scouting Ole Miss
The Rebels make the short trip to the Bluff City with a record of 3-1-1. Ole Miss started the season 3-0, but has since tied Wright State and fell to Duke 1-0. Rafaelle Souze leads the club with five of the Rebels 11 goals on the year. Ole Miss has allowed just one goal this season in five matches. The Rebels didn’t allow a goal in the first 455 minutes of the season, a program record. Inside The Series
Ole Miss and Memphis will meet for the15th time in the 16 seasons that the Lady Tigers have fielded a team. The Rebels lead the all-time series 8-5-1. Ole Miss was unbeaten in the first five meetings with the Lady Tigers earning a draw in the 1998 meeting. Memphis has won three of the last four meetings. Of the 14 matches played, 10 have been decided by one goal or less.

Clash Of The Titans?
Memphis and Ole Miss have combined to allow just three goals in 10 matches or 920 minutes of play. The Lady Tigers have surrendered just nine shots on goal this season, while the Rebels have permitted just 20 shots on goal this season.

Lady Tigers Start 5-0
Memphis opened the season with identical 3-1 victories over LSU and UALR at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The Lady Tigers hit the road for a three-game road trip and earned three shutout victories. The 5-0-0 start to the regular season is the best start in program history and it is the third-straight season the U of M has posted three shutouts in the first four matches.

August Rush
As the summer winds to a close, the U of M may be sad to see the calendar flip past August. In 16 seasons, Memphis is 18-5-1 all-time in the month of August and is unbeaten in the last 16 matches in the month of August dating back to the 2003 season. Since their last loss in the month of August (8/31/03-Ole Miss), Memphis has outscored its opponents 57-5.

Remember September
With all the success in August in the past several seasons, what has the U of M done in the month of September? In the last four seasons, including one game this season, Memphis is 20-11-0 in the month of September. Last season, Memphis was 4-3 in September.

Memphis Vs. SEC Opponents
The U of M carries a 18-14-1 record all-time against Southeastern Conference Opponents. The Lady Tigers have won six-straight matches against SEC foes and 10 of their last 12 contests.

Clean Sheet
In the past three matches, Memphis has held opponents to just three shots on goal and recorded three-straight shutouts. How many times have the Lady Tigers had a clean sheet in back-to-back-to-back matches? In the last three seasons, Memphis has 27 shutouts and has back-to-back shutouts 10 times. In that same span, Memphis has posted three-straight shutouts four times.

Balanced Offense
Thus far, Memphis has scored 11 goals in five matches, but more importantly nine different players have scored those 11 goals. The Lady Tigers have 10 assists on the 11 goals and six different players have recorded assists. Eight different players have attempted five or more shots.

Record Book Rewrite
Redshirt-senior goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters began her fifth season in net for the Lady Tigers on the cusp of breaking multiple goalkeeping records. Just five matches into the season, Kuhar-Pitters owns three of the five goalkeeping records at the U of M. With her third-straight shutout at Western Kentucky on Sept. 4, Kuhar-Pitters broke Isabel Birones’ record for shutouts and victories in a career. Kuhar-Pitters has 26 career shutouts and 40 victories and program-best 0.88 goals-against average. Kuhar-Pitters is also in the top-five in saves and minutes played.

Defense Wins Championships
Since the 2007 season, the Lady Tiger defense has helped the U of M to a 65-4-5 record when opponents score one or fewer goals. In that same span, Memphis has 47 shutouts.

Three...Is The Magic Number
When scoring three or more goals in a match, the U of M carries a 79-6-1 record all-time. Under Head Coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis is 58-3-1. In the past four seasons in which Memphis has four-straight championships, the record when scoring three or more goals is 24-0-1.

On A Roll
Already on a program-best 5-0 start to the season, the 2011 squad will look to extend a winning streak to six-plus games for only the second time in program history. Last season, Memphis put together four, three-game win streaks. Since head coach Brooks Monaghan took over the program in 2000, Memphis has 35 win streaks of two or more games. Currently, the U of M is riding only the third, five-game win streak in program history. It is the first five-game win streak since the 2008 campaign.

Head Coach Brooks Monaghan
Since taking over the program in 2000, head coach Brooks Monaghan has compiled a record of 130-85-14 in 11 seasons. Monaghan has helped the program claim seven, 11-plus win seasons during his tenure. Monaghan has helped the Lady Tigers to an impressive 91-33-9 (.718) record since the 2004 season. Just in the last four seasons, Memphis is 68-20-6 (.755).

Program Reaches 150 Wins
Now in his 12th season as head coach, Brooks Monaghan as helped the U of M Women’s Soccer program reach the 150 win plateau. The Lady Tigers had one 10-plus win season in the first nine seasons as a program, but Memphis has won 11-plus games in each of the past seven seasons. The Lady Tigers currently have an all-time record of 164-144-17.

Home Field Advantage
2 With an unbalanced schedule this season that has Memphis playing seven road conference matches, the Lady Tigers will need to continue the recent success on the home field. Since 2004, Memphis is 48-17-4 at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Under head coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis has a 68-32-6 mark on the home turf.

New Kids On The Block
Of the 31 players on the 2011 roster, 15 will or have played in a collegiate game for the first time this season. With the exception of Kelley Gravlin, a redshirt-freshman, 14 newcomers join the Lady Tigers for the 2011 campaign. Eight freshmen have seen minutes in the first five matches of the season with Gravlin, Kaitlyn Atkins, Natalia Gomez-Junco, Olivia Borkenstein and Carly Cassady earning a start this season.

In The Polls
Memphis entered the top-20 rankings last week as the NSCAA ranked the Lady Tigers 20th in the country. Memphis climbed to 16th in this week’s poll. The Lady Tigers are ranked 30th in CollegeSoccer360’s composite rankings and 28th in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 64. Memphis is ranked 16th in the Soccer America poll and 23rd in Soccer Times top-25.

Any Given Sunday
Sunday’s have been a day of success for the Lady Tigers in the last four seasons as Any Given Sunday normally results in a Memphis victory. Since the 2006 season, the U of M is 33-10-3 in matches played on a Sunday. Since the 2009 season, Memphis is 18-2-1 on Sunday’s. In that same span, the U of M has outscored opponents 47-9 on Sunday’s with 13 shutouts.

Senior Salute
Courtesy of research done by CollegeSoccer360.com, the Lady Tigers senior class is ranked 14th in the nation with 51 wins in their time at the U of M. In the three-plus seasons for the 2011 class, Memphis has posted records of 15-5-2, 16-7-0, 15-4-3 and a 5-0-0 record this season.

Among C-USA Bests
Kaitlyn Atkins is tied for first among C-USA leaders with her four assists on the season. Atkins ranks tied for sixth in the league with her six points on the season. Natalia Gomez-Junco (4th), Kelley Gravlin (7th) and Melissa Smith (T-10th) are three Lady Tigers among the top-10 in shots this season. Elise Kuhar-Pitters leads C-USA with her 0.40 goals-against average. Kuhar-Pitters is tied for first in the league with three shutouts on the year. Memphis ranks tied for first in C-USA with 11 goals on the season. The Lady Tigers 2.20 average goals per game ranks second. The U of M +1.80 scoring margin is tops in C-USA.

Road Warriors
The sign of a good team is its play on the road and the Lady Tigers have had some great success playing away from the Bluff City. In the last four plus seasons, Memphis is 28-6-3 in road games. The Lady Tigers are 13-3-0 in non-conference road games since the 2007 season.

Freshman Scoring
Freshmen have combined to score 15 of Memphis’ 32 points this season. Kaitlyn Atkins leads the team with six points on the season and Kelley Gravlin has four points. Kylie Davis and Natalia Gomez-Junco have two points and Katie Donahue has added a point.

Punch The Time Card
Senior’s Lizzy Simonin and Elise Kuhar-Pitters are the only Memphis players to play the full 450 minutes this season. Four other players have played 400 or more minutes this season, all in the midfield or defense.

One For The Thumb
Redshirt-seniors Elise Kuhar-Pitters and Melissa Smith have the unique opportunity to win a fifth championship this season. The pair has endured various injuries throughout their respective career and is headed into the 2011 season as winners of four-straight titles.

Canada...Eh?
If you take a look at the Lady Tigers roster you will see seven players from various provinces of Canada. Various Canadians have played a major role in Memphis claiming four-straight C-USA Championships. Of the seven Canadians on the current roster, five of the seven have a combined 14 championship rings. Alex Craig and Kylie Davis are the newest members of Lady Tiger Soccer from Canada.

Up Next
Memphis takes on Charlotte on Sunday at 1 p.m. before embarking on a five-game road trip.

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