Arkansas State (6-9-3, 4-5-1) vs. UALR (7-12, 3-7)
Oct. 28, 2011 • Jonesboro, Ark. • 2 p.m.
KICKING IT OFF: Arkansas State hosts its final match of the regular season hosting instate rival UALR Friday at 2 p.m. at the ASU Soccer Complex. This will mark the final home match for eight Red Wolves senior players who will be honored in a senior recognition ceremony after the match’s completion.
THE OPPONENTS: UALR enters the contest with 7-12 overall record and a 3-7 league mark. UALR will be playing for bragging rights as the team has already been eliminated from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament field. UALR has three players on the squad with four goals each with Christina Veasley, Rachael Mana and Ariel Galletti leading the way. Michelle Pittman has played the bulk of the minutes in goal for the Trojans logging 1,654 minutes in goal and making 96 saves for a 7-10 record and two shutouts. UALR is winless in their last four matches.
NITTI NEARS RECORD: Senior forward Kara Nitti ranks second on the team with five goals this season and is one goal away from tying the career goals scored record at Arkansas State.
SENIOR SALUTE: Friday’s match will be the final home game for eight Red Wolves soccer players. Michele Clark, Kelsey Finders, Meghan Mace, Lizzy Niles, Kara Nitti, Lyndsey Patterson, Stasha Siers and Megan Stoltzfus. As a group, these players have combined to appear in 506 games for Arkansas State. The group has also scored 46 goals and assisted on 31 others 123 combined points.
TOURNAMENT BOUND: With their tie against North Texas and the UALR loss to Denver, the Red Wolves have earned a berth in the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The team returns to the tournament for the first time since the 2009 season when the Red Wolves advanced to the semifinals of the tournament beating WKU on penalty kicks in opening round action. The 2011 Sun Belt Tournament will be held Nov. 2-5 in Murfreesbro, Tenn.
SIERS BREAKS GAMES STARTED RECORD: Senior Stasha Siers has started in 74 games for the Red Wolves breaking the career games started record at Arkansas State.
PITTS’ HAT TRICK: ASU sophomore forward Tory Pitts recorded a hat trick scoring three goals against ULM this past weekend. It was the first hat trick in a single game since Sofia Turesson scored three for the Red Wolves during the 2008 season.
OVERTIME: The Red Wolves have broken the single-season record for overtime matches with their 2-3 loss at WKU in overtime. Overall ASU has played in six overtime games this season surpassing the previous mark of four.
LAST MINUTE GOALS SPARK OT: A pair of goals scored in the final minute of action against UAPB sparked the third overtime for the Red Wolves this season. ASU battled to a 4-4 tie with UAPB with Tory Pitts scoring ASU’s third goal with less than a minute remaining and Kara Nitti scored the tying goal for A-State.
SEC WIN: With their 3-1 win over Mississippi State, the Red Wolves picked up their first win over an opponent from the SEC. Prior to the match, ASU was 0-4 against the SEC entering the game last week.
PRESEASON COACHES POLL: In preparation for the start of women’s soccer season this weekend the Sun Belt Conference has released its Preseason Coaches’ Poll Wednesday which ranked Arkansas State 10th in the poll. The Red Wolves received 46 points.
Denver was picked to finish first and is vying for its eighth Sun Belt championship and received seven of the possible 12 first place votes for a total of 139 points. FIU tabbed second-place points with 121 and one first place vote, followed by MTSU with 115 points and two first place votes.
North Texas was picked fourth with 112 points and one first place vote while WKU was fifth with 95 points. Troy finished sixth in the voting with 78 points and garnered the final first place vote.
Florida Atlantic (63), Louisiana-Lafayette (60) and UALR (51) finished above the Red Wolves at 7-9 places while South Alabama and Louisiana-Monroe brought up the rear with 36 and 20 points respectively.
The Preseason All-SBC team was also announced with FIU’s Chelsea Levia was named the Preseason Player of the Year.
The Red Wolves begin regular season play on Friday at Lipscomb and return home for their home opener against Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m.
2011 SBC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Poll
1. Denver (7) - 139 pts
2. FIU (1) - 121 pts
3. Middle Tennessee (2) - 115 pts
4. North Texas (1) - 112 pts
5. WKU - 95 pts
6. Troy (1) - 78 pts
7. Florida Atlantic - 63 pts
8. Louisiana-Lafayette - 60 pts
9. UALR - 51 pts
10. Arkansas State - 46 pts
11. South Alabama - 36 pts
12. Louisiana-Monroe - 20 pts
2011 Preseason All-SBC Soccer Team
Kaitlin Bast (Denver, Junior, F)
Chelsea Levia (FIU, Sophomore, F)
Mallory Outerbridge (WKU, RS-Senior, F)
Katy Van Lieshout (Denver, Junior, D)
Kelsey Hodges (North Texas, Senior, D)
Kaylyn Pratt (WKU, Senior, D)
Bria Beardsley (Denver, Senior, MF)
Nicholette DiGiacomo (Denver, Sophomore, MF)
Ellen scariose (North Texas, Junior, MF)
Melanie Raimo (FIU, Senior, GK)
Libby Stout (WKU, Senior, GK)
2011 Preseason All-SBC Soccer Player of the Year
Chelsea Levia (FIU, Sophomore, F)
HEAD COACH TAFADZWA ZIYENGE: Tafadzwa Ziyenge is in his second season as head coach at Arkansas State. Ziyenge comes to ASU after reviving both the men's and women's teams at University of Alabama-Huntsville. Ziyenge left the UAH women with a 96-90-6 career record, advancing to the semifinals of the Gulf South Conference tournament on five occasions and consistently achieving top-10 regional ranking. In his final season the women's team posted a 9-7-0 record and a third best 4-3 conference record. The women finished the season ranked seventh in the south region. In his first and only season as men's head coach Ziyenge directed the UAH men to the conference finals en route to a sixth place regional ranking. The men ended conference league play in second place. Ziyenge who is an Olympic Development Program regional coach has also coached both boys and girls youth teams.
“Tafadzwa is highly respected by his peers within his profession,” said Dr. Dean Lee, ASU Director of Athletics. “He is very passionate about the game and loves the game, which is very evident. He has a great work ethic and tremendous character, integrity and knowledge about the game.”
Ziyenge was a four-year letterwinner (1993-96) on the UAH men's soccer team. He is first overall in the UAH record books for most goals in a career, most game winning goals in a career. He also holds the UAH records for most goals in a season, most points in a season, most game winning goals in a season and tied for most shots on goal in a season. In addition, he is also second on the list for most points in a career, most shots on goal in a career. Ziyenge is ranked third overall in goals scored, fifth in points and eighth in career assists. He is only one of six players to score 100 career points at UAH.
Ziyenge who still holds the conference record for most goals scored in a season was named Conference Player of the Week on three separate occasions in the first year the GSC sponsored soccer. He was also Most Valuable Player in the Mayor's Cup Classic vs Alabama A&M in 1996. Ziyenge also set the standard for numerous conference records. During the 1996 season, Ziyenge was ranked third in the nation in goals scored. He also led the GSC in the same category, as well as total points. In his senior year, he was named to the All Region first team, GSC regular season MVP and conference final MVP.
Ziyenge's professional soccer career began in 1997 in the Eastern Indoor Soccer League where he played for 2 years with the Huntsville Fire. He finished the 1998 season as the club's second leading scorer. He continued his professional career in the USL A-League where he spent 2 seasons playing for Tennessee Rhythm before retiring in 2001. The Marondera, Zimbabwe native holds a degree in Business Administration.
Ziyenge holds a USSF C License.
RED WOLVES KIDS’ CLUB: Youth ages 9-13 are invited to join the Red Wolves Kids’ Club and be a ball kid at any of ASU’s home soccer game. Kids’ Club members also have the opportunity to participate in team introductions and pregame ceremonies. To join the Red Wolves Kids’ Club, contact assistant coach Jessica Nei at 870-972-8193 or email@example.com.
FOLLOW THE RED WOLVES ON FACEBOOK: To become a fan of our Facebook Page, go to www.facebook.com and search for "Arkansas State University Soccer". On our the "Arkansas State University Soccer" Facebook Page you can find events that the soccer team will be participating in and hosting, game results, and interesting stories and photos of all your favorite Red Wolves Soccer players. We encourage all fans, alumni, and family members of the Red Wolves Soccer Program to become a fan today!
ASU SOCCER IS TWEETING: The Arkansas State soccer team is on twitter! You can follow all the action via ASU Soccer “Tweets”. To follow ASU Soccer on Twitter visit twitter.com/redwolvessoccer. Twitter is a great way to follow anyone via microblogs and get the most up-to-date information on your favorite people and groups. GO RED WOLVES!