No. 5 ECU To Meet No. 1 Memphis In C-USA Semifinals

UABSPORTS.COM Beth Batchelor has played in 18 games during her freshman season.
Beth Batchelor has played in 18 games during her freshman season.

Nov. 4, 2011

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - For the second time in four years, the East Carolina (11-7-1) soccer team will face off against Memphis (19-0-1) in the 2011 Conference USA Soccer Championships when the two teams meet Friday night at 8:30 p.m. (EST) inside the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.

The fifth-seed Pirates, who are coming off a 2-1 win over fourth-seed UCF, will look for its first ever win over the top-seeded Tigers and a spot in the championship match against the winner of the Rice/UTEP match which starts at 6 p.m. (EST).

ECU enters the semifinals having won five of its last six matches. A trio of upper classmen in Caty Butler, Kimmy Cummings and Amanda Malkiewicz has led the way scoring nine of the Pirates 10 goals.

Malkiewicz has been in a zone of late having scored a goal in each of the Pirates' last five wins, which has included four-game winners (SMU, Rice, Marshall and UCF). On the season she has eight goals, seven of those have been against C-USA opponents. Cummings took over the team lead in scoring strikes (9) and points (22) with her first half goal against UCF on Wednesday. Butler, who is tied for second in goals (8) with Malkiewicz, scored the game-winner against Houston in a 2-0 victory back on Oct. 23, her second of the season while Cummings posted her second multi-goal game of the season against Rice tallying a pair of scoring strikes in a 3-1 win over the Owls.

In goal, sophomore keeper Christiane Cordero picked up her fifth shutout of the season (seventh career) against Houston. During the four-game win streak, she allowed just two goals, recorded 18 saves and posted a pair of shutouts (SMU, Houston) in 370 minutes. This season she has allowed 22 goals in 18 starts, and has posted a 1.22 goals against average with a .778 save percentage. Nine of her 77 saves came against No. 21 William & Mary, a season-high for the Valencia, Calif. native.

Memphis opened postseason play with a come-from-behind overtime victory over Tulsa, 2-1, with the golden goal provided by Natalia Gomez-Junco. Memphis advances to its sixth-straight C-USA Women's Soccer Championship semifinal and seek a spot in the final for the fifth-consecutive season.

The Tigers have scored 50 goals this season coming from 11 different players. The 50 goals in the season are the most since the 2007 season when the squad had 56 goals.

Along with a single-season school record 13 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 7.7 shots per game.

Memphis has allowed 10 goals in 20 matches this season, the fewest in program history.

Quartet Of Pirates Named To C-USA All-Academic Team
East Carolina seniors Jessica Abshire, Kimmy Cummings and Amanda Malkiewicz, along with junior Caty Butler were named to the Conference USA All-Academic Teams, according to an announcement from the league office Thursday morning. Abshire and Malkiewicz earned their third-straight academic honor, while Cummings is on the squad for the second-straight season.

Memphis 2, ECU 0 (Recap From Oct. 2, 2011 Match)
Both teams met early this season in Greenville with the Tigers coming away with a 2-0 victory. Memphis grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute on a miscommunication between Pirate keeper Christiane Cordero and defender Kendall Booth. Christine Kline booted a ball from midfield into the box where Booth tried to clear it on a header that went into ECU's net for the Memphis goal.

Rasheeda Ansari scored the Tigers second goal in the 63rd minute pushing their lead to 2-0. Kelley Gravlin started the play by passing the ball to Christabel Oduro on the left side and Oduro served the ball to the center of the box where Ansari placed into the back of the net.

ECU senior Kimmy Cummings recorded the Pirates lone shot on goal in the 85th minute when she found a seam in the Memphis defense and fired from 17 yards out, but Elise Kuhar-Pitters dove and making her lone save of the afternoon. For Kuhar-Pitters it was her eighth shutout of the season and 31st of her career.

The Tigers defense limited the Pirates to just three shots in the match and held a 13-3 shot advantage. Cummings recorded a pair of shots while freshman Beth Batchelor logged one. Natalia Gomez-Junco paced Memphis' attach with four shots, two on frame.

Community Service Event
Conference USA women's soccer players spent Thursday morning at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® as part of C-USA's continued efforts to become the best Division I-A collegiate conference in athletics, academics and in the community. Fifteen student-athletes heard inspirational stories about the hospital's patients and learned about the institution's research, mission and origin during their tour of the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion.

Tara Telford and Elise Kuhar-Pitters of tournament host Memphis were joined by Rachel Fuller, Leah Bagonis, Stephanie Shaw, Jessica Abshire and Amanda Windsor of East Carolina in one touring group while UTEP's Skye Schultz, Tess Hall, Chandra Bednar and Katie Dorman and Rice's Marie Hunnell, Hannah Thomson, Jordan McCray and Kasey McKenney experienced the pediatric research and treatment facility together.

Cummings, Johnson and Malkiewicz Named All C-USA Performers
On the eve of its first post-season match since 2008, the Pirates had three players named to the All-Conference USA squads according to an announcement by the league Tuesday. Nov. 1. Senior Kimmy Cummings was selected to the first-team, while fellow classmate Amanda Malkiewicz garnered second-team accolades. Rookie Kelley Johnson rounded out the Pirates' selections with her All-Freshman Team selection. ECU's three honorees marks the seventh consecutive season that ECU has had at least three players on the All C-USA Teams.

Inside the Series: Memphis leads 9-0-2
Sept. 22, 2002 - L, 3-2 (Away)
Oct. 10, 2004 - L, 4-1 (Away)
Oct. 19, 2005 - L, 2-1/OT (Home)
Sept. 29, 2006 - T, 1-1/2OT (Away)
Nov. 4, 2007 - L, 2-1 (Home)
Oct. 26, 2008 - T, 3-3/2OT (Home)
Nov. 9, 2008 - L, 4-1 (Houston, Texas - C-USA Championship Game)
Oct. 25, 2009 - L, 2-1 (Home)
Oct. 8, 2010 - L, 2-0 (Away)
Oct. 2, 2011 - L, 2-0 (Home)

Against C-USA Members: 42-35-12
Colorado College: 2-4-1
Houston: 7-2-0
Marshall: 5-1-1
Memphis: 0-9-2
Rice: 5-2-0
SMU: 3-4-1
Southern Miss: 10-0-0
Tulsa: 5-1-0
UAB: 1-3-4
UCF: 1-7-2
UTEP: 3-2-1

Pirates Earn No. 5 Seed In C-USA Soccer Championships
With its 2-1 victory over Marshall on Oct. 27 at the ECU Soccer Stadium, the Pirates earned the fifth seed in the upcoming C-USA Soccer Championships, which will be held Nov. 2-6 in Memphis, Tenn. and will play fourth seed UCF on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. (ET). Since joining C-USA in 2001, the Pirates will make their eighth appearance in post-season play in 11 years. Below is a look at ECU's seeding in the C-USA Championships since 2001:
2011 - No. 5
2010 - Did not qualify
2009 - Did not qualify
2008 - No. 1 (claimed the C-USA regular season title)
2007 - No. 8
2006 - No. 6
2005 - No. 7
2004 - No. 4
2003 - Did not qualify
2002 - No. 3
2001 - No. 6

Pirates In C-USA Soccer Championships
The Pirates own a 4-6-2 record in the Conference USA Women's Soccer Championships and have advanced to the second round four times, most recently in 2008 when they captured the No. 1 overall seed and faced No. 2 Memphis in the Championship Match falling 4-1. Below is a look at how the Pirates have fared in the C-USA Championships:
Nov. 7, 2001 - T, Charlotte (0-0/2OT) - Charlotte advanced on penalty kicks
Nov. 6, 2002 - W, Houston (2-0)
Nov. 7, 2002 - L, Cincinnati (2-1)
Nov. 3, 2004 - L, Louisville (2-1)
Nov. 2, 2005 - T, SMU (0-0/4OT) - ECU advanced on penalty kicks
Nov. 4, 2005 - L, Rice (2-0)
Nov. 1, 2006 - L, Memphis (2-1)
Nov. 7, 2007 - L, UCF (2-0)
Nov. 5, 2008 - W, SMU (1-0)
Nov. 7, 2008 - W, Colorado College (2-1/OT)
Nov. 9, 2008 - L, Memphis (4-1) in Championship Match
Nov. 2, 2011 - W, UCF (2-1)

C-USA RPI Report
Heading into semifinal action against sixth-ranked Memphis, the Pirates are one of eight C-USA teams that rank in the Top 100 in the NCAA's current RPI Repost, which was released on Nov. 2 ... Below is a look at where the Pirates stand with all 12 C-USA schools:
5. Memphis
19. UCF
64. SMU
66. Rice
68. Colorado College
69. Tulsa
86. East Carolina
89. UTEP
139. Houston
154. UAB
183. Marshall
254. Southern Miss

Playing Top 25 Teams
Friday night's matchup against the sixth-ranked Memphis Tigers will mark the fifth game this season where the Pirates have faced a nationally ranked team (four games at home) ... If you include their most recent win over the UCF Knights (receiving votes) in the first round of the C-USA Soccer Championships, then tonight's game will be the sixth against teams that have been nationally ranked or receiving votes in the national polls ... Heading into the Championship Week, three of ECU's opponents are still ranked in the NSCAA Coaches Poll Top 25 (No. 6 Memphis, No. 19 South Carolina, and No. 25 William & Mary). UCF is currently receiving votes for the Top 25. Below is a look at how they have fared against the top teams in the country this season:
8/19/11 vs. No. 21 South Carolina (L, 4-0)
9/11/11 vs. No. 21 William & Mary (T, 2-2/2OT)
10/2/11 vs. No. 6 Memphis (L, 2-0)
10/9/11 vs. No. 24 UCF (L, 2-0)
11//2/11 vs. (RV) UCF (W, 2-1) - C-USA Soccer Championships (Memphis, Tenn.)

Cummings and Butler Having Magical Years
Heading into the second round of the 2011 C-USA Soccer Championships against Memphis, senior Kimmy Cummings and junior Caty Butler are both in the midst of their best collegiate seasons ... Cummings currently leads the team in goals (9) and points (22), while ranking second with Butler in assists (4) and game-winning strikes (2) ... Cummings became the first Lady Pirate to record a hat trick since 2004 with her three-goal performance at Old Dominion (8/21) ... Butler earned C-USA Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors (8/29) after scoring both goals against UNCW, 2-0, in the new ECU Soccer Stadium ... Here is a look at where they stand on the single-season charts in points and goals:

Single-Season Points
1. Amanda Duffy - 32 in 19 games (2001)
2. Amanda Duffy - 28 in 21 games (2002)
3. Kim Sandhoff - 27 in 19 games (2000)
4. Meghan McCallion - 26 in 21 games (2002)
5. Meghan McCallion - 25 in 19 games (2004)
** Kimmy Cummings - 22 in 19 games (2011)
** Caty Butler - 20 in 18 games (2011)

Single-Season Goals
1. Amanda Duffy - 14 in 19 games (2001)
2. Amanda Duffy - 11 in 21 games (2002)
t3. Kelly Gray - 10 in 19 games (2000)
t3. Meghan McCallion - 10 in 19 games (2003)
t3. Meghan McCallion - 10 in 19 games (2004)
t3. Kim Sandhoff - 10 in 17 games (1998)
** Kimmy Cummings - 9 in 19 games (2011)
** Caty Butler - 8 in 18 games (2011)

Bagonis Is Among ECU's All-Time Best
Senior forward Leah Bagonis has dished out a team-best seven assists so far this season. Her game-winning assist against Marshall on Senior Night moved her into a tie for fifth place all-time at ECU (14) and in a tie for fifth on the single-season charts. She is also tied for second in Conference USA and stands 84th nationally in assists per game (0.39).

Record Watch (Top-5)

Career Goals
1. Meghan McCallion - 39 in 80 gms. (2002-05)
2. Amanda Duffy - 33 in 74 gms. (1998-02)
3. Kim Sandhoff - 27 in 71 gms. (1997-00)
4. Amanda Malkiewicz - 25 in 79 gms. (2008-pr.)
5. Kelly Gray - 21 in 70 gms. (1998-01)
** Kimmy Cummings - 15 in 78 gms. (2008-pr.)
** Caty Butler - 14 in 56 gms. (2009-pr.)

Career Assists
1. Kim Sandhoff - 28 in 71 gms. (1997-00)
2. Amanda Malkiewicz - 19 in 79 gms. (2008-pr.)
3. Meghan McCallion - 18 in 80 gms (2002-05)
4. Amanda Duffy - 17 in 74 gms. (1998-02)
5. Jessica Abshire - 15 in 79 gms. (2008-pr.)
t6. Leah Bagonis - 14 in 76 gms. (2008-pr.)
t6. Krystel Pabey - 14 in 74 gms. (2001-04)

Career Points
1. Meghan McCallion - 96 in 80 gms. (2002-05)
2. Amanda Duffy - 83 in 74 gms. (1998-02)
3. Kim Sandhoff - 82 in 71 gms. (1997-00)
4. Amanda Malkiewicz - 69 in 79 gms. (2008-pr.)
5. Kelly Gray - 48 in 70 gms. (1998-00)
** Kimmy Cummings - 41 in 78 gms. (2008-pr.)
** Caty Butler - 33 in 56 gms. (2009-pr.)

Career Saves
1. Amber Campbell - 396 in 82 gms. (2005-08)
2. Amy Horton - 351 in 74 gms. (1996-99)
3. Joey Clark - 180 in 20 gms. (1995)
4. Jameison Pierce - 173 in 17 gms. (1994)
5. Christiane Cordero - 172 in 37 gms. (2010-pr.)

Career Shutouts
1. Amber Campbell - 30.0 in 82 gms. (2005-08)
2. Amy Horton - 22.5 in 74 gms. (1996-99)
3. Christiane Cordero - 7.0 in 37 gms. (2010-pr.)
4. Brooke Crews - 6.5 in 17 gms. (2000)
t5. Lauren Church - 5.0 in 30 gms. (2002-04)
t5. Michelle Kmiotek - 5.0 in 10 gms. (2002)

Streaks Extended
Jessica Abshire and Amanda Malkiewicz entered their senior seasons each with a 60-game starting streak intact ... Both streaks came to a halt during the season with Malkiewicz' ending at 73 (against SMU) and Abshire's at 60 (season opener) ... Below is a closer look at current double-digit starting streaks that are active heading into this weekend's matches:
40 Games - Hali Oughton (started 10/30/09)
38 Games - Kimmy Cummings (started 8/20/10)
31 Games - Leah Bagonis (started 9/24/10)
26 Games - Kendall Booth (started 10/8/10)

Butler and Cummings Recognized By
Back on Oct. 1, Butler and Cummings were named two of the top 20 Players to Watch in Conference USA by ... A year ago, Jessica Abshire, Amanda Broz and Amanda Malkiewicz were all named on the preseason list.

Cummings Records Hat Trick
Kimmy Cummings recorded her first career hat trick at Old Dominion (8/21) helping East Carolina to a 4-1 win. With the score knotted at one, Cummings received a through ball from freshman Beth Batchelor in the 41st minute breaking the tie and netting her first career game-winning goal. In the 66th minute, Cummings was all alone on the right side of the field and booted a ball past the Monarch keeper for a 3-1 lead. Just six minutes later, the senior forward capped off the magical afternoon with her third goal sending a shot to the right of the box past the keeper on another through ball, this time from fellow classmate Amanda Malkiewicz. For Cummings it was her second career multi-goal game and the first ECU hat trick since Meghan McCallion netted three goals against DePaul on Oct. 1, 2004.

Butler Named C-USA Offensive Player-of-the-Week
Caty Butler picked up her first career C-USA weekly honor on Aug. 29 after she helped the Pirates to a 2-0 win over instate rival UNC Wilmington on Aug. 25. The junior netted both goals marking her first career multi-goal game of her career. In the 10th minute she received a through ball from senior Leah Bagonis and scored from 21 yards out staking the Pirates to an early 1-0 lead, her third career game-winning goal. In the 61st minute she sealed the victory with another through ball from Bagonis and beat the Seahawk keeper one-on-one for her second strike of the night.

First Career Starts
Six Pirates have recorded their first collegiate starts during the 2011 season ... Mackenzie Semerad was the first in the season opener against No. 21 South Carolina ... During the Pirates final road trip, Kelley Johnson started against Tulsa logging 50 minutes as a defender ... In the final game of the road trip at SMU, she played 92 minutes in her second start ... Lexi Miller notched her first start as a Pirate at SMU at one of the midfield spots playing 23 minutes ... Beth Batchelor got the start at one of the midfield spots against Rice logging 10 minutes in the 3-1 victory ... In the season finale against UAB, a makeup game from Sept. 30, Brittany Batts and Danielle Romano both logged their first collegiate starts ... Batts played 71 minutes in the 3-2 double overtime loss, while Romano played all 101 minutes as a defender.

First Collegiate Goals
Mackenzie Semerad, Kelly Johnson and Lexi Miller have also netted goals during their rookie seasons ... Semerad's goal was the game-winner at Davidson on Sept. 2 ... Both Johnson and Miller's goals were against No. 21 William & Mary on Sept. 11 in the double-overtime tie ... Johnson scored in the 42nd minute off a pair of passes from Cummings and Miller inside the box to tie the game at one ... Miller capped off her best game in her young career with another Pirate equalizer in the 71st minute on a header.