Lady Tigers Honor Seniors in Final Home Match
Oct. 23, 2008
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The (10-4-1, 6-2-0 C-USA) Memphis women's soccer team wraps up its home schedule on Friday, Oct. 24 at 6:00 p.m. taking on the (5-7-4, 3-5-0 C-USA) Marshall Thundering Herd at Mike Rose Soccer complex. The Lady Tigers enter the weekend sitting in second place of the C-USA regular season standings and having wrapped up a spot in the C-USA Tournament.
"Our sights are on a Conference USA regular season championship, but we're still taking the approach that it's one game at a time," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "This Friday is our most important game of the year right now. Marshall is a much improved team from last year and it will be a tough contest for us. We have to get through Marshall though. They have a new coach, they are doing well now, they have some results, and they're still fighting to get in the C-USA Tournament."
With only three games remaining, the Lady Tigers still have a lot to play for with a C-USA regular season title still hanging in the balance and the C-USA Tournament seeds still in question.
"We're going to have to be ready to go. We have to get back and be better than we were last Sunday. We've been a little inconsistent at times, but now is the time to consistently play well in our last three games."
The Lady Tigers scored seven goals combined in last weekend's games. They won a 3-0 contest against SMU last Friday and despite struggling defensively on Sunday, beat the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in a 4-2 battle.
"The girls were not satisfied with their performance on Sunday and when this group doesn't have a good performance, they usually respond in the next game and hopefully that will be the case here."
On Friday, Marshall comes to the Bluff City having dropped their last two games to UTEP 2-0 and Colorado College 3-1. Interim head coach Kevin Long's Marshall team would be the last team out of the C-USA Tournament as they are tied in eighth place with SMU who they lost to in head to head competition.
In 2007, Memphis tied for the regular season C-USA crown with UCF. As the number one seed, the Lady Tigers rolled through the conference tournament for their first C-USA Tournament title as well. If the Lady Tigers win their final three games of the season, including Sunday's against number one in the standings East Carolina, they will lock up their second C-USA regular season title in a row.
"It's important that we see the light at the end of the tunnel and that being a championship," said Monaghan. "We're constantly talking about how every game matters and that we can't look past one game. This is an important situation for us because we play first place East Carolina on Sunday. We have put into our girls heads that they can't look ahead of Friday's game and I think they've bought into that."
Friday's game marks the last home game for the 2008 Lady Tigers. This also means that it is the annual "Senior Night". This will be the last home game of the four Lady Tiger senior players. Following the contest against Marshall on Friday night, a ceremony will be held on the field to honor the four seniors for their contributions to the Memphis women's soccer program.
"Obviously, this is a great senior class," said Monaghan. "They are a huge part of the reason that this program is where it's at now. Every year that they have been here, they have helped this program take a step in the right direction. The program has not taken any plunges under their watch. This is a special group and this is a group that I'll always remember. This group has really put a stamp on this program and they have lifted it to another level."
On Sunday, Oct 26, Memphis hits the road traveling to Greenville, N.C. to square off against the C-USA first place East Carolina Pirates. If both Memphis and East Carolina win their games on Friday, first place in the C-USA standings will be at stake in Sunday's contest. The C-USA Tournament, hosted by Rice University, begins on Nov. 5 in Houston, Texas and ends on Nov. 9.