It took Christabel Oduro less than 45 minutes to help the Memphis women’s soccer team
erase four years of frustration and continue a magical season. By game’s end, the
sophomore had set an NCAA tournament record for most points in a contest, and tied
another one for goals.
Oduro neatly packaged a hat-trick in the first half and added a second-half goal to
help the Tigers record their first-ever NCAA tournament win, a 7-0 shutout of UT-Martin
last month at Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Her nine points set an NCAA mark while her
four goals tied her with Danesha Adams (UCLA '05), Sydney Leroux (UCLA '09)
and Melissa Henderson (Notre Dame '09) for most goals scored in an NCAA tournament
Memphis continued on in the tournament, next facing Louisville for a chance to move
on to the Sweet 16. (Watch for additional coverage of the record-breaking season in
the spring issue of the U of M magazine.)
“It feels great to finally get the monkey off our back,” says head coach Brooks Monaghan
of Memphis’ first NCAA win after four tries. “Not only did we get the monkey off our
back, we threw it off our back,” says Oduro.
Monaghan said the difference in this year’s squad was “focus.”
Memphis’ 22-0-1 record at press time helped the Tigers to a No. 5 ranking in national
polls. They captured their fifth straight C-USA tournament title at the end of the
season, and tied the school mark for most consecutive NCAA tournament appearances
(five) in any sport.
Oduro was C-USA Offensive Player of the Year while Lizzy Simonin collected the Defensive
Player of the Year nod. Monaghan won his second Coach of the Year honor. Goalkeeper
Elise Kuhar-Pitters joined Oduro and Simonin on the All-Conference First Team.
– by Greg Russell