Sun Belt Conference Tournament
No. 7 - Arkansas State (7-9-3) vs. No. 2 - FIU (11-6-2)
Nov. 2, 2011 • Murfreesboro, Tenn. • 10 a.m.
No. 7 - Arkansas State (7-9-3) vs. TBA
Nov. 3, 2011 • Murfreesboro, Tenn. • 4 p.m.
No. 7 - Arkansas State (7-9-3) vs. TBA - Championship Game
Nov. 5, 2011 • Murfreesboro, Tenn. • 1 p.m.
KICKING IT OFF: Arkansas State returns to the Sun Belt Conference tournament for the first time since the 2009 season and drew No. 2 - seeded Florida International in their opening round contest which is set to kick off at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
THE OPPONENT: FIU picked up the No. 2 overall seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament after defeating FAU 3-0 in their season finale. FIU owns wins over top-seeded North Texas and Denver, 1-0. Chelsea Levia leads the Golden Panthers with 16 points on five goals and six assists. Ashleigh Shimm ranks second on the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists. Kaitlyn Savage has led FIU in goal on the season with 84 saves and seven shutouts to her credit. Savage has allowed only 22 goals on the season and owns a 1.19 goals against average.
TOURNAMENT RECORD: ASU has gone 0-6-1 all-time in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. This will be the first appearance of the Red Wolves since the 2009 season when the squad went 0-1-1 in the tournament advancing to the semifinals beating WKU on penalty kicks.
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.
TEAM RECORDS: ASU is only one goal away from tying its all-time record for goals scored in a season, which currently stands at 35. ASU has also tied the school record for most conference wins in a season with five this year.
PATTERSON COMES UP BIG: Senior midfielder Lyndsey Patterson came up big for ASU in her final home contest of her career, doubling her career goals scored tally with two goals scored against UALR.
SIERS BREAKS GAMES STARTED RECORD: Senior Stasha Siers has started in 75 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.
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 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!
stAte Zone users
returning customers, please login here.