Nov. 3, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Making a sixth-straight appearance in the Conference USA Women’s Soccer Championship semifinals, No. 4/6 Memphis (19-0-1), the top-seed in the 2011 tournament, is set to face fifth-seeded East Carolina (11-7-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The other semifinal, slated for 5 p.m., features sixth-seeded Rice against seventh-seeded UTEP.
Memphis opened postseason play with a come-from-behind overtime victory over Tulsa, 2-1, with the golden goal provided by Natalia Gomez-Junco. Memphis advances to it’s sixth-straight C-USA Women’s Soccer Championship semifinal and seek a spot in the final for the fifth-consecutive season.
The U of M has scored 50 goals this season coming from 11 different players. The 50 goals in the season are the most since the 2007 season when the squad had 56 goals.
Along with a single-season school record 13 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 7.7 shots per game.
Memphis has allowed 10 goals in 20 matches this season, the fewest in program history.
Community Service Event
Conference USA women's soccer players spent Thursday morning at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® as part of C-USA's continued efforts to become the best Division I-A collegiate conference in athletics, academics and in the community. Fifteen student-athletes heard inspirational stories about the hospital’s patients and learned about the institution’s research, mission and origin during their tour of the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Tour Photo Gallery
Tara Telford and Elise Kuhar-Pitters of tournament host Memphis were joined by Rachel Fuller, Leah Bagonis, Stephanie Shaw, Jessica Abshire and Amanda Windsor of East Carolina in one touring group while UTEP’s Skye Schultz, Tess Hall, Chandra Bednar and Katie Dorman and Rice’s Marie Hunnell, Hannah Thomson, Jordan McCray and Kasey McKenney experienced the pediatric research and treatment facility together.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. For more information, visit www.stjude.org.
NCAA Division I Best
Memphis has the best winning percentage in the nation with the 19-0-1 record, a .975 winning percentage. The Lady Tigers became the 15th different program since 2001 to finish a regular season unbeaten. Oklahoma State also completed this season unbeaten and two other programs have undefeated records currently.
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.
Luck of the Host?
The U of M hosts the C-USA Tournament for the first time this week and host institutions have a record of 14-11 as 14 of the 17 tournaments have been hosted on campus sites. The lone team to win the C-USA on its home field was Rice in the 2005 season and just four host institutions have advanced to the tournament final.
Memphis has shutout its opponent in nine of the last 13 tournament matches. The Lady Tigers have outscored the opposition 31-4 in the matches. The U of M is 15-7 all-time in the C-USA Tournament.
Lizzy Simonin was tabbed the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Monday marking the third occasion she has garnered the weekly accolade this season. With Simonin’s selection, Memphis earned a ninth weekly honor, the most by any C-USA team in the league’s history.
Scouting East Carolina
Fifth-seeded East Carolina was one of three lower seeds to win in the opening round of the 2011 C-USA Women’s Soccer Championship as the Pirates took a 2-0 lead and used great defense to prevail over fourth-seeded UCF 2-1. It was East Carolina’s first victory over UCF.
Kimmy Cummings leads the Pirates with nine goals and a total of 22 points on the year. Cummings and Amanda Malkiewicz provided the goals for ECU in the win over UCF on Wednesday. Jessica Abshire was credited with assists on both goals.
Christiane Cordero has played over 1,600 minutes between the posts for East Carolina and the netminder carries a 1.22 goals-against average. Cordero made 10 saves in the 2-1 win over UCF, making several spectacular saves in the match.
Inside The Series
Memphis and East Carolina will clash for the 12th time on Friday. The Lady Tigers possess a 9-0-2 series edge, but five of the 11 meetings have been decided by one goal. Friday’s matchup is the third in C-USA Tournament play, first since the 2008 tournament.
Eight matches were played in October and the Lady Tigers record posted a 7-0-1 record in those matches. With Thursday’s victory at UAB, Memphis improved to 39-7-6 since the 2006 season in October matches. In that same span, the U of M has 35 shutouts.
Since the 2007 season, Memphis has posted a 19-1-2 record following a tie or loss. Following the first blemish on the record this season, Memphis bounced back with a 4-0 victory over Tulsa. In that span, Memphis has 13 shutouts in the 23 matches following a loss or tie and has outscored opponents 58-9.
In C-USA play this season, Memphis held opponents to just 40 shots on goal and five goals. In those 11 matches, Memphis has registered eight clean sheets. Since the 2008 season, Memphis has 46 shutouts and has back-to-back shutouts 18 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 50 goals in 20 matches, but more importantly 11 different players have scored those 50 goals. Eight different players have three or more goals on the year. and five players have five or more goals. The Lady Tigers have 37 assists on the 50 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 had goals and seven have two or more goals.
Defense Wins Championships
Since the 2007 season, the Lady Tiger defense has helped the U of M to a 78-4-5 record when opponents score one or fewer goals. In that same span, Memphis has 57 shutouts. This season, the Memphis defense has allowed just 65 shots on goal. By comparison, opponents have 153 total shots against the U of M this season, but Memphis has 165 shots on goal in 20 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 9th in CollegeSoccer360’s composite rankings, 6th in the NSCAA poll and 11th in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 64. Memphis is ranked 9th 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.
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 36 career shutouts and 53 victories and program-best 0.78 goals-against average. Kuhar-Pitters is also tops in minutes played and fourth in saves. With 36 career shutouts, Elise Kuhar-Pitters needs just two more clean sheets to tie for second in the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer record book. Kuhar-Pitters would need eight shutouts to tie for first.
Head Coach Brooks Monaghan
Since taking over the program in 2000, head coach Brooks Monaghan has compiled a record of 144-85-15 in 11 seasons. Monaghan has helped the program claim eight, 11-plus win seasons during his tenure. Below is a look at the milestone victories for Coach Monaghan. Monaghan has guided the Lady Tigers to an impressive 105-33-10 (.743) record since 2004. Just in the last four seasons, Memphis is 82-20-7 (.784).
The Final Countdown
Memphis has allowed 10 goals this season, six of which have come in the second half. Looking closer at the box score, five of the 10 goals have come in the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Lady Tigers have scored 13 goals in the final 20 minutes this season, with two key goals coming in the come-from-behind win in overtime against Tulsa in the opening round of the C-USA Tournament.
Time Is On Our Side
One impressive stat stands out as Memphis has trailed for only 65:01. In 1823:00 minutes, the Tigers have trailed just 3.57 percent of game action.
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 51 of Memphis’ 137 points this season. Natalia Gomez-Junco leads the cast with eight goals on the season. Kelley Gravlin has four goals and four assists as does Kaitlyn Atkins. Kylie Davis has chipped in with two goals and four assists and Carly Cassady has added a goal. Katie Donahue also was credited with an assist this season.
Memphis faced its first deficit of the season on Oct. 7 against SMU as the Mustangs took a 2-0 lead into halftime. The Lady Tigers clawed back scoring three goals in a span of 5:43, before the match ended in a 3-3 draw.
The Lady Tigers faced a deficit for the second time in the season as Tulsa grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute of the opening game of the C-USA Tournament. Memphis responded to tie the game late and take a win with a golden goal by Natalia Gomez-Junco.
Memphis has scored 50 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 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of play or overtime, 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, 10 goals from the 45th to 60th minute and 10 goals from 60th to 75th minute.
Home Field Advantage
With an unbalanced schedule this season that had Memphis playing seven road conference matches, the Lady Tigers needed to continue the recent success on the home field. Since 2004, Memphis is 54-17-5 at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Under head coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis has a 74-32-7 mark on the home turf.