The No. 18 ranked Memphis Tigers women’s soccer team improved their record to 3-1 after their first road trip on the year. Although they were outplayed by the Kansas Jayhawks, now ranked No. 11, in a 2-1 defeat, the women’s soccer team finished the weekend on a high note after a 1-0 shutout win over the Omaha Mavericks despite playing on different field conditions. Head coach Brooks Monaghan adjusted the style of play in their last matchup but spoke about continuing improvement as the season continues to heat up.
“Conditions were a little different here,” Monaghan said. “Playing on turf changes the game a bit. We did enough to win the game, but we know as a group we must learn from several things in this game to get better moving forward.”
An early ranked matchup did not end well for the Tigers after two second-half goals negated an early Memphis lead. Stasia Mallin, a senior defender, scored off a direct free kick in the ninth minute for early momentum. The Tigers managed to maintain the lead in the first half thanks to senior goalkeeper Rachel Ashworth Shepard’s four saves in the first half alone.
However, the early lead was only the first half of the tale. The Jayhawks gained momentum after a Tigers’ handball led to a converted penalty kick brought the match to a draw. Memphis then had their hearts broken after Kansas scored with just a minute remaining in regulation. This came just after Mya Jones, a freshman forward, nearly took the lead after she hit the top woodwork with a header in the 85th minute. The Tigers outshot the Jayhawks 11-10, but just three of Memphis’ shots were on target compared to Kansas’ seven.
Memphis was able to rebound last Sunday after a 1-0 win against the Omaha Mavericks with senior midfielder Serena Dolan’s goal within the 18-yard box in the 32nd minute for her second goal in the 2019 campaign. In just their second all-time meeting between both schools (first being in a 4-0 win for the Tigers in 2018), it was all Memphis as they outshot the Mavericks 14-4 and prevented any shots on target.
Also contributing offensively in the match was sophomore midfielder Tanya Boychuck, who recorded an assist after a nice feed into the box, along with junior forward Samantha Murphy and sophomore midfielder Claire Abrey, who both tallied three shots. They remained a threat throughout the match, making seven corner kicks and avoiding any offside penalties. Elizabeth Moberg, a junior goalkeeper, helped the Tigers shutout after her first solo clean sheet on the year. Moberg played her first full game after playing just 45 minutes in the first match against Little Rock, 65 minutes against Ole Miss and sitting out against Kansas.
The women’s soccer team now turns their attention to the North Texas Mean Green. The Mean Green sits with a 3-1 record as well, outscoring their first three opponents 14-1, yet suffering a 4-0 defeat to Texas Tech. The Tigers duel against North Texas is set to kick-off Friday night at 7 p.m. They will then take a bus trip to Starkville, Miss. to face Mississippi State on Sunday night at 7 p.m.