Oct. 26, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Sporting the nation's best winning percentage (.972), No. 4/8 Memphis (17-0-1, 9-0-1 C-USA) travels to UAB (5-11-1, 2-6-1 C-USA) on Thursday with an opportunity to finish the regular season with an undefeated record. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at West Campus Field.
Memphis clinched the C-USA Regular Season Championship with two victories over the weekend. With a win on Thursday, the squad can set a single-season record for wins and finish the regular-season unbeaten.
The U of M has scored 46 goals this season coming from 11 different players. The 46 goals in the first 18 matches are the most since the 2007 season when the squad had 41 goals. The 46 goals are the second-most all-time through 18 matches, behind the 2005 squad that scored 41 and the 2007 club.
Along with 12 clean sheets by Elise Kuhar-Pitters, the Lady Tiger defense has held opponents to eight or fewer shot on goal attempts in every match this season and just 7.9 shots per game.
Memphis has allowed nine goals in 18 matches this season, the fewest in program history.
NCAA Division I Best
With the completion of games on Sunday, Oct. 23, Memphis has the best winning percentage in the nation with the 17-0-1 record, a .972 winning percentage. Memphis has been tied for the best win percentage among all Division I women's soccer teams all but one week of the season, but takes sole possession of the top spot this week. Following a 3-3 tie against SMU, Memphis was tied for second in the nation, but quickly moved back to a tie for first the next week.
Memphis clinched at least a share of the C-USA Regular Season Championship with a 3-0 victory at Southern Miss on Oct. 21. A 3-0 victory at UCF on Oct. 23 earned Memphis its third regular season crown in the last five seasons and a fifth-straight championship overall. The Lady Tigers have won the last four C-USA Championships and were regular season champs in 2007 and 2008.
Lowe's Senior CLASS Finalist
Lizzy Simonin was named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on Oct. 5. Simonin is the first Lady Tiger to be named a finalist for the prestigious honor. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Nationwide fan voting is underway to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on either the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website or the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through November 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.
Christabel Oduro was tabbed the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 24 marking the second-straight week she has taken the honors. Oduro was also placed on the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week. Lizzy Simonin garnered C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors and Soccer America National Team of the Week accolades. Bailey Pembroke was recognized by CollegeSoccer360.com as a Primetime Performer of the Week.
Lady Tigers Start 17-0-1
With 17 wins on the season, the 2011 squad has tied the single-season record for wins. The squad already owns the record for wins in the regular season, besting the 2007 squad that had 14. With a win in the final regular season game, the 2011 squad could set the record for the most overall wins in a season with 18. The 2007 team had 17 wins to set the record. (14 regular season, three postseason)
The 17-0-1 start to the regular season is the best start in program history and the 17-game unbeaten streak is the longest in program history. The 2011 squad holds the longest unbeaten streak of 17 games, topping the 2010 and 2007 squads that were unbeaten in 11-straight matches.
UAB enters the weekend with a 5-11-1 record on the season. The Blazers are 2-6-1 in league play this season and have two games remaining due to a postponed match at East Carolin earlier this year. UAB dropped both matches this weekend, 1-0 at UCF and a 2-1 overtime loss at So. Miss on Sunday. Six of the last eight matches for UAB have been decided by one goal. Tiffini Turpin, Carolyn Polcari and Emma Smith pace the Blazers offense with three goals each. UAB has 16 goals this season nine players have tallied goals. C.J. Winship has seen most of the minutes in conference play in net, but Katie Getzinger has logged nearly 700 minutes this season. Winship has posted a 1.60 goals-against average in 11 matches and collected 53 saves. Getzinger has a 2.83 goals-against average in eight matches and she has recorded 56 saves.
Inside The Series
Memphis and UAB will clash for the 19th time on Thursday. UAB owns a 9-8-1 edge in the series and will host Memphis for the first time since 2008.
Seven matches into October, the Lady Tigers record has continued to improve as has been the case in the past several seasons. With Sunday's victory at UCF, Memphis improved to 38-7-6 since the 2006 season in October matches. In that same span, the U of M has 34 shutouts.
In C-USA play this season, Memphis has held opponents to just 40 shots on goal and five goals. In those 10 matches, Memphis has registered seven clean sheets. Since the 2008 season, Memphis has 45 shutouts and has back-to-back shutouts 17 times. The four-straight shutout streak earlier this season was the first four-game shutout streak and the 441:25 scoreless streak by opponents was the longest streak in program history. Goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters posted a program-best 580:36 scoreless streak that was ended at Houston on Sept. 25.
Thus far, Memphis has scored 46 goals in 18 matches, but more importantly 11 different players have scored those 46 goals. Seven different players have three or more goals on the year. The Lady Tigers have 32 assists on the 46 goals and 13 different players have recorded assists with six players having three or more assists to their credit. In C-USA play, nine players have goals and six have two or more goals.
Defense Wins Championships
Since the 2007 season, the Lady Tiger defense has helped the U of M to a 76-4-5 record when opponents score one or fewer goals. In that same span, Memphis has 56 shutouts. This season, the Memphis defense has allowed just 62 shots on goal. By comparison, opponents have 143 total shots against the U of M this season, but Memphis has 146 shots on goal in 18 matches.
In The Polls
Memphis climbed to a program-best in the national polls released this week as Soccer America ranks Memphis No. 4. The Lady Tigers are ranked 11th in CollegeSoccer360's composite rankings, 8th in the NSCAA poll and 15th in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 64. Memphis is ranked 10th in Soccer Times top-25.
Three...Is The Magic Number
When scoring three or more goals in a match, the U of M carries an 85-6-2 record all-time. Under Head Coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis is 64-3-2. In the past four seasons in which Memphis has four-straight championships, the record when scoring three or more goals is 30-0-2.
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. At 10-0-0 on the road this season, the U of M has set a single-season school record for most road wins in any season. In the last four plus seasons, Memphis is 34-6-3 in road games. The Lady Tigers are 20-3-3 in conference road games since the 2007 season.
Record Book Rewrite
Elise Kuhar-Pitters began her fifth season in net for the Lady Tigers on the cusp of breaking multiple goalkeeping records. Just seven matches into the season, Kuhar-Pitters grabbed 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 35 career shutouts and 52 victories and program-best 0.79 goals-against average. Kuhar-Pitters is also tops in minutes played and fourth in saves.
Head Coach Brooks Monaghan
Since taking over the program in 2000, head coach Brooks Monaghan has compiled a record of 142-85-15 in 11 seasons. Monaghan has helped the program claim eight, 11-plus win seasons during his tenure. Monaghan has guided the Lady Tigers to an impressive 103-33-10 (.740) record since 2004. Just in the last four seasons, Memphis is 80-20-7 (.780).
The Final Countdown
Memphis has allowed nine goals this season, six of which have come in the second half. Looking closer at the box score, five of the nine goals have come in the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Lady Tigers have scored 11 goals in the final 20 minutes this season, with two key goals coming in the 3-0 victory over rival Ole Miss.
Time Is On Our Side
Heading into the final regular season match, one impressive stat stands out as Memphis has trailed for only 45:06. In 1640:00 minutes, the Tigers have trailed just 2.75 percent of game action.
Take This Show On The Road
Thursday's match concludes the third installment of three road trips this season of three or more games for the Lady Tigers. The Sept. 15 match at Vanderbilt began a five-game road swing for the Lady Tigers. The trip was the longest since the 2002 season in which the U of M played seven-straight matches on the road. In 14 road trips that lasted three or more games, Memphis has compiled a record of 29-22-3 (10-0 in 2011). Scoring is very close in the road trip matches at 88-76 in favor of Memphis, but the U of M has equaled or bettered their opponent scoring in the last seven road trips. Memphis went 3-0 on its first road trip of 2011, posting three shutouts and a perfect 5-0 on the most recent trip with four shutouts.
Christabel Oduro leads the team with 11 goals this season, bettering her goal total from last season (3). Rasheeda Ansari has five goals on the year giving the sophomore class 16 goals on the season. Of the 16 goals scored by sophomores, eight are game-winners. When Oduro scores, Memphis is 11-0-2 and the Lady Tigers are a perfect 9-0-0 when Ansari finds the back of the net.
New Kids On The Block
Freshmen have combined to score 44 of Memphis' 124 points this season. Natalia Gomez-Junco leads the cast with seven goals on the season. Kelley Gravlin has three goals and four assists while Kaitlyn Atkins has two goals and four assists on the year. Kylie Davis has chipped in with two goals and three assists and Carly Cassady has added a goal. Katie Donahue also was credited with an assist this season.
Courtesy of research done by CollegeSoccer360.com, the Lady Tigers senior class is ranked 11th in the nation with 63 wins in their time at the U of M. The 2011 senior class tied the 2010 senior class for the most wins by any class in program history with Sunday's 3-0 victory at UCF.
Program Secures 175th Win
Now in his 12th season as head coach, Brooks Monaghan as helped the program reach the 175 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 eight seasons, including 2011. The Lady Tigers currently have an all-time record of 176-144-18.
Best Offense Is A Good Defense
As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense, which has certainly been a case for the U of M this season. Among 13 players that have played in the back this season, six players have accounted for 31 of Memphis' 124 points. Nine goals and 13 assists have been posted by defensive players on the year. Lizzy Simonin has scored five times this season and when the former forward finds the back of the net, Memphis is 18-1-2.
Memphis has scored 46 goals this season, but looking closely at the time of goals, late in games has been kind to the Lady Tigers. The U of M has scored 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of play, the most among the six segments of 15 minute increments. Memphis has five goals from the 1st to 15th minutes, six goals from 15th to 30th minutes, six goals from 30th to 45th minutes, eight goals from the 45th to 60th minute and 10 goals from 60th to 75th minute.
Punch The Time Card
Senior Lizzy Simonin is the only Memphis player to play the full 1640 minutes this season. Eight other players have logged more than 1000 minutes this season.
Memphis begins postseason play with the C-USA Tournament at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Tournament play begins on Wednesday, Nov. 2 with four games at Noon, 2:30, 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. Seeding and game times for each team will be determined after league play concludes on Oct. 28. Memphis has clinched the No. 1 seed in the tournament.