Nov. 6, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
No. 1 seed and host Memphis claimed the 2011 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship Sunday at Mike Rose Stadium with a 2-1, double-overtime win over No. 7 seed UTEP. The win earned Memphis (21-0-1) the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament and was the fifth consecutive C-USA Tournament title for the Tigers.
A scoreless first half was highlighted by UTEP goalkeeper Sarah Dilling's four saves, including a pair of diving efforts to thwart a Memphis attack that posted 10 shots in the opening frame, four of those shots on goal.
The Memphis offense broke through in the 59th minute when Christabel Oduro, the tournament's Most Valuable Offensive Player, took a pass from Lizzy Hildebrandt at the left edge of the box, spun to her right and arched the ball past Dilling for her 12th goal of the season. Oduro finished the match with eight total shots, six on goal.
Undeterred, UTEP (11-8-4) made the most of its first shot on goal in the 75th minute when all-tournament selection Brittany Kindzierski collected a square ball from Tess Hall in the center of the box and beat Memphis goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters to the left post to level the match at one. The goal was Kindzierski's ninth of the season.
The defenses would squelch any further chances during regulation. Memphis ended regular time with a 22-7 advantage in shots, forcing UTEP to make 10 stops to send it to extra time.
After a scoreless first overtime, Memphis forward Kaitlyn Atkins netted the game-winner in the 103rd minute after receiving a pass from Oduro, who won the ball at the end line and fed Atkins in the center of the box.
"You have to give credit to their goal keeper (Sara Dilling)," said Memphis head coach Brooks Monaghan. "If they had an average keeper we definitely wouldn't have had such trouble. I am just really proud of our kids. They gritted it out and I thought we stayed composed. Even when they scored, we stayed very composed. The chances were there, we just didn't finish them. But, finally in the end we did."
All told, Memphis held a 26-8 advantage in shots, a 13-4 edge in shots on goal and an 8-3 lead in corner kicks. UTEP goalkeeper Sarah Dilling made 10 saves during the match.
The pairings for the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship will be announced at 4:30 p.m. EST during a selection show on NCAA.com
Christabel Oduro, F, Memphis - Most Valuable Offensive Player
Lizzy Simonin, D, Memphis - Most Valuable Defensive Player
Christie Kline, D, Memphis
Melissa Smith, F, Memphis
Sarah Dilling, GK, UTEP
Brittany Kindzierski, F, UTEP
Katie Dorman, M, UTEP
Christiane Cordero, GK, East Carolina
Hali Oughton, D, East Carolina
Lauren LaGro, D, Rice
Ashton Geisendorff, F, Rice