Lady Tigers Travel to the Lone Star State for Pair of C-USA Matches
Oct. 7, 2009
Memphis, Tenn. - The Lady Tiger soccer team travels to the Lone Star state for a pair of Conference-USA matches this weekend as Memphis will square off with Houston on Friday, October 9 at 7 pm and Rice on Sunday, October 11 at 1 pm.Memphis enters the third weekend of the C-USA schedule in a five-way tie for first place in C-USA with a record of 3-1 and an 8-4 record overall. The Lady Tigers battled back from a 3-0 halftime deficit on Oct. 2nd but came up just short as UTEP defeated Memphis 3-2. Memphis bounced back from a Friday night loss for the fourth time this season with a 2-0 victory over Colorado College on Sunday Oct. 4th. The Lady Tigers are 3-4 in Friday matches but are 5-0 on Sunday’s this season Houston enters Friday’s match-up with a record of 3-7-1 and a C-USA record of 1-2-1.
The Cougars played SMU to a 1-1 tie on Sunday Oct. 4th after dropping a 1-0 decision to Tulsa on Friday Oct. 2nd. Houston and Memphis have met 10 times with Houston holding a 6-4 series lead. Memphis has won the last four matches in the series by a combined score of 9-0.
“I think Houston is a team in our conference that continues to improve every year,” said head coach Brooks Monaghan. “We have a lot of respect for them, but our goal is to win a conference championship. Every game is just as important as the next and we take one game at a time and I expect a 100% focus and effort from our girls.”
The Rice Owls enter Sunday’s match at 2-8-2 on the 2009 campaign and a C-USA record of 0-4-1. Rice also played SMU and Tulsa last weekend, losing both matches 1-0. The Owls were able to force overtime in Sunday’s match versus Tulsa, but fell on a Golden Hurricane goal in the 94th minute. Rice and Memphis have met three times with Memphis holding a 2-0-1 series lead. Memphis’ two wins have both been by one goal.
“Rice is struggling on paper, but they are one of the most talented teams in the conference,” Monaghan said. “We are going to have to be at our best to beat Rice. This game is do or die for them because their goal before the season was to make the conference tournament. We are going to be playing against a team that has to lay it all on the line this weekend, because this weekend is going to determine their season. That poses a huge challenge for us and we are going to have to be at our best.”
CBS College Sports will be taping Sunday’s match and will air the broadcast on Tuesday Oct. 13th on the CBS College Sports Network at 6 pm.
Junior forward Ashley Berra leads the Lady Tigers in scoring entering this weekend’s matches. Berra has posted seven goals and three assists. Berra, along with teammate Vendula Strnadova, are one goal shy of fourth place in the career goal ranks after recording their 18th career goals last weekend.
“We are very happy for Ashley and she has been playing very well,” Monaghan said. “She has been playing with more consistency. Ashley is somebody that the sky is the limit for her and we continue to push her every day because she has so much potential. She has stepped up and scored a lot of goals for us and we expect that to continue.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters has posted six shutouts this season for the Lady Tigers which lead C-USA with a team goals against average of 0.75. Kuhar-Pitters and Jordan Boyle have combined to lead Memphis to seven shutouts this season, tied for first among C-USA teams.
“I think it’s great but you try not to get all caught up in the stats,” Monaghan said. “Elise is a solid keeper and she is somebody that has a lot of potential. She has so much to give in so many ways and we have to continue to have her step up in a leadership role and get the job done.”