Women's Soccer Opens C-USA Play, Closes Out Non-Conference Play This Weekend
Sept. 22, 2004
Memphis Opens Conference USA Play, Closes out Non-Conference Play
Friday, September 24 vs. DePaul, 7:00 p.m.
This Week: Memphis opens up conference play with a game against defending C-USA tournament champion DePaul on Friday at 7:00 p.m. They then conclude non-conference play for the year with a game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against Evansville.
Looking Ahead: Conference play gets into full swing as October rolls around as the Tigers make a trip to Texas to first take on TCU at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 1. They then continue on to Houston to take on the Cougars on Sunday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m.
Scouting DePaul: The Blue Demons will enter Friday night's game with a 5-3 record. They opened C-USA play already with a 3-0 win over Marquette on Sunday. DePaul is led by the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year in junior forward Julianne Sitch, who is second on the team with six goals and 17 points. Lea Hill leads the team in goals with seven and also has 17 points.
Scouting Evansville: The Purple Aces currently have an 0-6 record heading into a Wednesday game against Murray State before coming to Memphis on Sunday. They have scored just three goals in their six games, and all have come from three different players.
The Coaches: Brooks Monaghan (Memphis, 1994) is in his fifth year as head coach of the Lady Tigers. He holds a career record of 33-45-5 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.
UM All-Time vs. DePaul: Memphis holds a 5-3-1 all-time record against the Blue Demons. DePaul defeated the Tigers 2-1 in overtime last year. The Tigers' last win in the series came in 2001, a 1-0 win. The teams did not play in 2002.
UM All-Time vs. Evansville: The Tigers are 1-3-1 all-time against the Purple Aces. The teams have met every year since 2001 and also met from 1995-96. They played to a 0-0 tie last yea r in Evansville. Memphis's lone win in the series came in 1995, the first year of the Memphis program.
Samford Game Postponed: Memphis's scheduled game with Samford on Sunday was postponed indefinitely due to Hurricane Ivan. Samford, located in Birmingham, Ala., shut down its campus and postponed all athletic events through Sunday. If it is made up, it will be played at the end of October.
Tigers Equal 2003 Win Total: Just seven games into the season, the Tigers have already equaled their win total from last season with five wins. They will now have an opportunity to surpass that win total before the calender even turns from September to October as they have two more games in September this upcoming weekend.
Best Start Ever: With a 5-2 record through seven games, the Tigers continue to have their best start in program history. Their previous best record through the first seven games was a 4-2-1 mark in the 1997 and 2002 seasons.
Shutouts Keep Coming: The Tigers recorded their fourth shutout of the year with a 1-0 win over Drury on Friday night. It surpasses their total of three shutouts from last season.
Defense Continues to Shine: Exception defense is needed for shutouts and the Tigers have gotten no less than that for most of this year. Expected to be a strong point on the team this year, the Memphis defense has allowed just five goals in seven games to start the season, which equals out to a 0.71 goals against average. If this pace can be maintained through the rest of the season, it would far surpass last year's final team gaa of 1.60 and would also break the school record of 1.43.
First Half Streak Ends: After having not allowed a first-half goal in their first five games of the season, Memphis yielded two first-half scores in its 2-0 loss to Mississippi State last Tuesday. Despite the loss, the Tigers outshot the Bulldogs 14-9 in the game, but MSU keeper Stephanie Dallas made six saves to record the shutout.
Haerens Wins Second Straight C-USA Defensive Player of the Week Award: Freshman goalkeeper Natalie Haerens was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week last Monday after recorded another shutout in the win over Tennessee Tech and allowing just one goal in a win at Tennessee-Martin.
Ain't Misbehavin': Memphis was assessed its first yellow cards of the season on Friday against Drury when they received two. The Tigers had gone their first six games without a caution. The Tigers still have fewer cards than their opponents, who have been issued four in seven games.
Briones Debuts: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Isabel Briones made her Memphis debut with a scoreless second half of action against Mississippi State last Tuesday after relieving starter Natalie Haerens. She then became the second freshman this year to record a shutout in her first career start when she made four saves to shut out Drury on Friday.
Another First: Sophomore Beth Keating became the second Memphis returnee to score her first career goal this year when she opened the scoring against Tennessee-Martin on September 8 in a 2-1 Memphis win. She joins senior Susannah Dawells, who scored her first career goal against Middle Tennessee State on September 5.
Tigers Regain Upper Hand vs. Ole Miss: With a 1-0 win over Ole Miss on August 31, 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.
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 45-40-5 all-time at home but only 20-62-3 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.
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.
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.