Nov. 10, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Hosting the NCAA Tournament for the first time, the fifth-ranked University of Memphis women's soccer team will host UT Martin (14-6-2) in the opening round match of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Saturday at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for U of M students with ID and $2 for kids 12 and under.
NCAA Tournament Central
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket
2011 NCAA Tournament Program
For the unprecedented fifth-straight season, Memphis (21-0-1) clinched a spot in the NCAA College Cup field by winning the C-USA Women's Soccer Championship. Kaitlyn Atkins scored the golden goal in the 103rd minute to lead Memphis over a resilient UTEP squad 2-1.
The U of M has scored 55 goals this season coming from 11 different players. The 55 goals in the season are the most since the 2007 season when the squad had 56 goals.
Along with a single-season school record 14 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 7.8 shots per game.
Memphis has allowed 11 goals in 22 matches this season, the fewest in program history. The Lady Tigers have allowed three goals in the last nine matches.
Memphis claimed a fifth-straight Conference USA Tournament Championship on Sunday with a 2-1 double-overtime victory over UTEP. For the first time in the five year run, Memphis was also the out-right C-USA Regular Season Champion.
NCAA Division I Best
Memphis has the best winning percentage in the nation with the 21-0-1 record, a .977 winning percentage. The U of M was the first program to reach 20 wins this season. The Lady Tigers became the 15th different program since 2001 to finish a regular season unbeaten. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Memphis (21-0-1) and Stanford (19-0-1) are the lone unbeaten teams.
Memphis has won five-straight C-USA Tournament Championships. How many teams have accomplished such a feat? In NCAA Division I Women's Soccer just eight programs have claimed five or more consecutive conference championships. Memphis and Boston University of the American East Conference carry the nation's longest active championship streak. North Carolina holds the all-time record for consecutive tournament championships with 15 from 1987-2003. William & Mary (8, 1996-03), Notre Dame (7, 1995-2001), Florida (6, 1996-2001), North Carolina (5, 2005-2009) and Loyola (5, 2000-2004) have new company with Memphis having won a fifth-straight.
Heart of Gold
Having played just one overtime game in the 19 games prior to the C-USA Tournament, two of the three matches in the tournament were decided by golden goals. Natalia Gomez-Junco netted the winner against Tulsa in the quarterfinal and Kaitlyn Atkins buried the winner against UTEP in the final.
Memphis has eight golden goals in the 16-year history of the program. The Lady Tigers had two golden goals in the 2007 season and one in 2005, 2004, 2002, and 1997.
Having appeared in the last four NCAA Tournaments, the Lady Tigers head into the 2011 College Cup looking for their first victory in the postseason tournament. This season, Memphis carries a nine-game win streak into the NCAA Tournament, besting the 2007 squad that won five in a row prior to the tournament.
Lizzy Simonin was selected the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season. Simonin is the first player in league history to repeat as winner of the defensive award. Christabel Oduro leads C-USA with 11 goals and 27 points and with that effort earned C-USA Offensive Player of the Year accolades. Oduro is the third Offensive Player of the Year from Memphis in the last four seasons. With league-best 0.41 goals-against average, Elise Kuhar-Pitters earned First Team All-Conference accolades, the first goalkeeper in program history to attain the distinction. Lizzy Hildebrandt was named a Second Team All-Conference selection. Kylie Davis and Natalia Gomez-Junco were named to the All-Freshman Team.
Scouting UT Martin
UT Martin won its first OVC Soccer Tournament title as the Skyhawks defeated Morehead State, 2-1 in the championship match. UT Martin earned the No. 3 seed in the tourney and defeated No. 6 seeded Eastern Illinois, 2-1, in the first round before pulling off an upset of No. 2 seeded Eastern Kentucky, 4-0, in the semis.
The Skyhawks have a pair of All-OVC first team selections in defender Melissa Govea and midfielder Brooke Robertson. Defender Amy Maksimowicz earned All-Newcomer accolades. In addition to being named to the first team, Govea was selected as the 2011 OVC Defensive Player of the Year.
UT Martin's Lucy Pater was named the 2011 OVC Tournament MVP after scoring a pair of goals. Pater scored the game-winner in the championship match.
Rosaelia Loza leads the Skyhawks with 22 points on the season (nine goals, four assists). Hannah McGowen has a team-high 10 assists. 13 different players have combined to score 43 goals for the Skyhawks (1.95 per game).
Between the posts, Mariah Klenke and Lauren Mackenzie have split the time evenly. Klenke has played in 1074:46 of the action and has allowed 12 goals. Klenke has a record of 10-2-0 with two clean sheets and 48 saves. Mackenzie has appeared in 14 matches, 985:40, and carries a 4-4-2 record with three shutouts and 60 saves.
UT Martin is one of five programs making their debut in the NCAA Tournament this week. The Skyhawks join Florida Gulf Coast, La Salle, Montana and Utah State.
Inside the Series
UT Martin's visit to the Bluff City on Saturday marks the ninth meeting between the two programs. Memphis hasn't played the Skyhawks since the 2007 season and the Lady Tigers earned a 4-1 win in that last meeting. The U of M is 5-0 in matches played in Memphis having outscored the Skyhawks 22-2 in those matches.
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 47 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.
Not only does the Memphis offense show balance, but the attack has been consistent throughout the season. The Lady Tigers have scored two or more goals in 19 of 22 matches, including each of the last 11 matches.
Thus far, Memphis has scored 55 goals in 22 matches, but more importantly 11 different players have scored those 55 goals. Eight different players have three or more goals on the year and six players have five or more goals. The Lady Tigers have 41 assists on the 55 goals and 13 different players have recorded assists with seven 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 an 80-4-5 record when opponents score one or fewer goals. In that same span, Memphis has 58 shutouts. This season, the Memphis defense has allowed just 74 shots on goal. By comparison, opponents have 172 total shots against the U of M this season, but Memphis has 185 shots on goal in 21 matches.
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 37 career shutouts, Elise Kuhar-Pitters needs just one clean sheet to tie for second in the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer record book. Kuhar-Pitters would need seven shutouts to tie for first.
Memphis finished the non-conference slate with a perfect 8-0 record, including five shutouts. The Lady Tigers allowed just four goals in the eight matches, the fewest goals scored by non-conference opponents in the 16-year history of the program.
Head Coach Brooks Monaghan
Since taking over the program in 2000, head coach Brooks Monaghan has compiled a record of 146-85-15 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 107-33-10 (.747) record since 2004. Just in the last four seasons, Memphis is 84-20-7 (.790).
Three...Is The Magic Number
When scoring three or more goals in a match, the U of M carries an 86-6-2 record all-time. Under Head Coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis is 65-3-2. In the past four seasons in which Memphis has four-straight championships, the record when scoring three or more goals is 31-0-2.
Time Is On Our Side
One impressive stat stands out as Memphis has trailed for only 65:01. In 2015:49 minutes, the Tigers have trailed just 3.21 percent of game action.
The Final Countdown
Looking closely at the box score, six of the 11 goals Memphis has allowed this season have come in the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Lady Tigers have scored 15 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.
Christabel Oduro leads the team with 12 goals this season, bettering her goal total from last season (3). Rasheeda Ansari has six goals on the year giving the sophomore class 18 goals on the season. Of the 18 goals scored by sophomores, eight are game-winners. When Oduro scores, Memphis is 12-0-2 and the Lady Tigers are a perfect 10-0-0 when Ansari finds the back of the net.
New Kids On The Block
Freshmen have combined to score 54 of Memphis' 151 points this season. Natalia Gomez-Junco leads the cast with eight goals on the season. Kaitlyn Atkins has five goals and five assists and Kelley Gravlin has four goals and four assists. 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.
Courtesy of research done by CollegeSoccer360.com, the Lady Tigers senior class is ranked 10th in the nation with 67 wins in their time at the U of M. The 2011 senior class set the program record for the most wins by any class with the 2-0 win at UAB on Oct. 27.
Once again, courtesy of research done by CollegeSoccer360.com, the U of M junior class ranks 5th in the nation with 52 wins under their belts. The juniors are tied with Denver, Notre Dame and Florida for fifth, but a win percentage of .806 (52-11-4) gives Memphis the edge at fifth.
How Are the Sophomores?
Research by CollegeSoccer360.com shows the sophomore class is fourth in the nation with a record of 36-4-4 (.864) behind Stanford (42-1-3), Oklahoma State (39-5-4) and Dayton (38-6-1).
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 35 of Memphis' 145 points. 10 goals and 15 assists have been posted by defensive players on the year. Lizzy Simonin has scored six times this season and when the former forward finds the back of the net, Memphis is 19-1-2.
Memphis has scored 55 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 15 goals in the final 15 minutes of play or overtime, the most among the six segments of 15 minute increments. Memphis has six goals from the 1st to 15th minutes, six goals from 15th to 30th minutes, six goals from 30th to 45th minutes, 11 goals from the 45th to 60th minute and 11 goals from 60th to 75th minute.
Punch The Time Card
Senior Lizzy Simonin is the only Memphis player to play the full 2015 minutes this season. Eight other players have logged more than 1600 minutes this season.
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 56-17-5 at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Under head coach Brooks Monaghan, Memphis has a 76-32-7 mark on the home turf.