The University of Memphis men and womenâ€™s soccer teams opened up conference play this past weekend and will continue American Athletic Conference play this weekend.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The menâ€™s team had a slow start to the 2017 season, losing three of their first four matches and not scoring a goal. Since the 0-3-1 start, the Tigers are 2-1-1, outscoring opponents 5-4 in that time. They defeated Cincinnati 3-1 in their first conference match and will continue host Temple this weekend at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The womenâ€™s team began the season 6-0-0, but lost three in a row. They now have a record of 7-3-1 and are 1-0-1 in conference play with a draw against SMU 3-3 and defeating Houston 2-1 in overtime this past weekend.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The womenâ€™s team will travel to Florida for two games this weekend. They will take on USF this Friday in Tampa and UCF in Orlando Sunday.
Look at the opponents
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Temple is 2-5-1 through eight matches, with their two wins coming against Villanova and Duquesne. The Owls struggle to produce goals, scoring seven goals in eight matches. In four of their five loses, they have not produced a goal. Templeâ€™s defense has conceded 12 goals this season averaging 1.5 goals against per match.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USF is 5-3 this season, losing to Ohio State, No. 3 North Carolina and No. 12 Cincinnati. The Bulls are an offensive-minded team averaging 17.4 shots and nearly two goals per match (1.88). They lost their previous match at Cincinnati 0-1 and are 1-1 in AAC competition.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The UCF womenâ€™s soccer team is the highest ranked team in the AAC. They have a record of 5-1-1 and are currently ranked No. 12 in the nation according to the United Soccer Coaches Poll. UCF is a defensively sound team, only conceding two first half goal all season. The Golden Knights defeated No. 3 UNC, 2-1, in the third match of the season.
What to watch for
The U of M menâ€™s team struggles in the first 45 minutes of play. They have conceded six first half goals and have not scored a goal in the first half this season.
Â The Tigers have found success in the second half of play, outscoring opponents 6-5 this year. The Tigers need to find ways to score first half goals in order to continue improving. Â
Freshman midfielder, Chris Mikus scored the match-winning goal in the 3-1 win against Cincinnati and received AAC Rookie of the Week honors. Head coach Richard Mulrooney has increased Mikusâ€™ minutes over the past two matches, and he could be a difference maker versus Temple.
The midfield for the U of M womenâ€™s team has been the difference in most matches this season. Forwards Marie Levassuer and Elizabeth Woerner lead the Tigers in points, but midfielders Jessica Lisi and Catherine Levassuer have been the catalysts.
Lisi has assisted in three straight matches, including the cross to the match-winning goal in overtime to defeat Houston 2-1. She has four goals and five assists this season.
Catherine Levassuer acts as a defensive box-to-box midfielder for the Tigers. She creates turnovers at one end of the field and facilitates at the other end. She has two goals â€“ two assists this season and scored the match-winning goal against Houston.
Carlos Hurtado controls the ball as he looks for open teammates. Hurtado has started in six games for Memphis this season.