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Memphis women's soccer flying under the radar

<p>The women's soccer team was handed their first loss of the season and currently sits with a 6-1-1 this season.</p>
The women's soccer team was handed their first loss of the season and currently sits with a 6-1-1 this season.

With college football now underway, and basketball season looming close on the horizon, many of the eyes on the Memphis Tigers’ athletic department are focused on that two-headed monster. However, there is another team that is secretly showing up and showing out for the 901.

The Memphis women’s soccer team has been on a tear this season, skyrocketing themselves to #15 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll rankings. Their 2-0 loss this Sunday at Drake ended their five game winning streak, putting the team’s record at 6-1-1, but it is still quite impressive what the team has done so far into the season.

The team is led by head coach Brooks Monaghan, who has been the head coach since taking the job in 2000. In the 20+ years that have passed, Monaghan has notched more than 250 wins and has taken the team to heights above and beyond the realm of people’s possibility. With the team’s recent appearance in the rankings, this marks the fourth consecutive season where the team has been ranked in the top-25.

It was quite the jump all the way to 15 in the polls, but it was a pleasant surprise for the team who had been receiving votes in the previous weeks to join the top-25.

“It was a good surprise,” said Coach Monaghan earlier this week. “Obviously it’s still early in the season, but the kids, they’ve earned it.”

This season is led by a staunch defense that has only given up four goals in the eight games they have played so far, including a stretch of three straight shutouts. In net, they are anchored by fifth-year senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Moberg, who has been the team’s starting keeper since midway through her freshman season. Moberg has been a valuable part to the team’s success, highlighted by a season-high four save performance in its 1-0 win for the team against Indiana. On the offensive side, they are led in scoring by senior and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native Tanya Boychuk. Boychuk has netted four goals for the Tigers so far this season, putting her point total at eight. The high point for the senior this season has to be her two goal performance, including the game-winner, in the team’s 3-1 win against Alabama.

Boychuk is trailed in the scoring department by true freshman Aubrey Mister and junior Saoria Miller each with three goals. Miller scored her three in a hat trick performance in the season opener for the team against Southeast Missouri State.

While their loss this Sunday puts a hold on the team’s hot streak, it will be important to see how the team responds to the first real adversity they have faced so far this season. With conference play ramping up this Thursday at home against Temple, the team will look to finish the season strong. They will look to showcase their offensive prowess after being shut out and the defense will certainly try their best to start another streak of shutouts of their opponents.

The Tigers are set to take on Temple on Thursday night. The match is set to start at 7:00 p.m. at South Campus.

The women's soccer team was handed their first loss of the season and currently sits with a 6-1-1 this season.

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