ASU Soccer back in action today - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ASU Soccer back in action today

Game #3 Notes - Arkansas State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Sept. 1

  • 5:00 p.m. Jonesboro, Ark. ASUSoccer Park



KICKING IT OFF: The Red Wolves continue home action Tuesday with a matchup against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the ASU Soccer Park. Kickoff for the match is set for 5 p.m. 

THE SERIES:  ASU owns a 2-0 record against the Lady Lions, having scored a combined 15 goals against UAPB without giving up a goal to them. They last faced them during the 2008 season with ASU coming out on top, 7-0.

THE OPPONENT: UAPB has played just one game this season against Harding, battling them to a 1-1 tie. Sophomore midfielder Erika Forbes scored the goal for the Lady Lions while freshman goalkeeper Chelsea Klein played 60 minutes in goal for the Lady Lions making three saves.

LAST GAME: (8/30/09) -- A goal in the final four minutes of action pushed Louisiana Tech (2-0-0) up, 1-0, to hand the Arkansas State (1-1-0) soccer team its first loss of the 2009 season in front of another great crowd with 425 spectators in attendance at the ASU Soccer Park Sunday afternoon.
                The lone goal came in the 87th minute (86:01) when Olivia Lukasewich took a feed from Kiva Gresham in traffic at the top of the box, sending the ball just past the reach of ASU goalkeeper Susan Brown.
                "I think the effort was there, our kids performed at pretty high level," said ASU head coach Derek Pittman. "Obviously it showed that we still have some things to work on being that it is so early in the season. But, Louisiana Tech is a very good team and they are well coached. They gave us a good test early in the season. Hopefully it will be a good growth and learning lesson for our kids as we move into our conference season in the next few weeks."
                ASU's best chances came from freshman Tory Pitts who had three shots, two of which were on goal. Pitts' best attempt was in the 53rd minute (52:41) when she fired a shot from 18-yards out which ricochet off the post and right into the hands of Louisiana Tech goalkeeper Cat Buchannan.
                "I think we created a lot of chances, we just have to find a way to put those into the net," added Pittman.
                ASU freshman defender Chelsea Fricke also notched three shots, one of which was on goal while sophomore Lyndsey Patterson had two shots and freshman Mallory McGilvray and junior Anna Kaloughirou had one shot each.
                The Red Wolves were able to use their depth in the contest playing 19 players in the match.

TOP SCORERS: During their season opener against UCA, the Red Wolves had three players notch goals. Junior Anna Kaloughirou scored two goals, including the tying goal. Kara Nitti picked up where she left off last season, scoring a goal for ASU while freshman Tory Pitts had the final goal of the match for  ASU.

FRESHMAN FIREPOWER: Although they dropped their second match of the season to Louisiana Tech the Red Wolves had some great attacking performances from two freshman. Tory Pitts and Chelsea Fricke each had three shots to lead ASU in the match. Pitts leads the Red Wolves so far this season with seven shots. Freshman Lucy Brient leads ASU with four shots on goal on the season, all four coming in its season opener against UCA.

FOUR MATCHES IN EIGHT DAYS: The ASU soccer team is playing four matches in eight days which will test the young Red Wolves team while also giving them some early experience. ASU began the eight-game stretch last Sunday against La. Tech, continues Tuesday against UAPB and hosts the Red Wolves Cup this weekend taking on Mississippi Valley and Grambling this Friday and Sunday, respectively.

SHOOTING GALLERY: The Red Wolves peppered UCA with shots which is indicitive of the high pressure style that ASU plays. ASU outshot the Bears 22-5 in their opening contest, including taking 10 shots on goal.

YOUNG PACK: Arkansas State is one of the youngest teams in the Sun Belt Conference boasting only five upperclassmen on the squad of 24 players. In their first contest of the season ASU had nine starters who are listed as a freshman or a sophomore on the Red Wolves roster.

TENTH SEASON: The 2009 season will mark the tenth for the ASU women's soccer program. The Red Wolves own an all-time record of  39-122-8.

TOP SCORERS RETURN: three of ASU's top six scorers from a year ago return for the Red Wolves this season. Along with Nitti, Anna Kaloghirou (Jr./4 goals), Michele Clark (Soph./2 goals).

SENIORS START FINAL CAMPAIGN: Tonight will mark the beginning of the final season for ASU seniors Mary Geels, Amy Koss and Erin McKenna. Geels enters the season with 53 games on her resume. She has scored three goals and had three assists from her defensive position during her career at ASU dating back to the 2006 season. Koss has seen action in 47 games as a defender scoring her first goal and notching her first career assist during the 2008 season. McKenna has played in every game during her career at ASU (55), starting in all but one contest dating back to the 2006 season. She has two career assists on her resume from her defensive position. 

HEAD COACH DEREK PITTMAN: Arkansas State Head Coach Derek Pittman begins his third season with the ASU soccer program after coming to Arkansas State prior to the 2007 season.
                Pittman, an assistant coach for the University of Missouri's women's soccer program for the three years prior to coming to Jonesboro, worked primarily with goalkeepers and defense at Missouri. He assumed his duties at ASU Jan. 4, 2007.
                One of the first things Derek Pittman had on his agenda when he arrived at Arkansas State University was to install a rallying cry for the Red Wolves soccer program - "Building A Winning Tradition".  Pittman hit the ground running when he arrived at ASU, immediately installing a strong offseason conditioning program and setting up a competitive spring workout schedule which pitted ASU against both in-state and out-of-state opponents.
                Pittman has posted an 8-24-4 record while at the helm of the ASU program including posting ASU's first win over Middle Tennessee State, which was also the program's first win over a conference foe in four years.
                The 35-year-old Pittman joined the Missouri staff in 2004 after spending the 2003 season at the University of Georgia. He was responsible for coaching the Tigers' goalkeeper to career bests in shutouts and saves as well as the team to season bests in shutouts and fewest goals allowed.
                At Georgia, he was responsible for the Bulldogs' recruiting in addition to his coaching duties. While there he coached the goalkeeper to career bests in wins, shutouts, and goals against average. In 2003, the Bulldogs finished 13-10-0 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
                A 1998 graduate of Tulsa, Pittman also served as a graduate assistant coach for the school's men's soccer program from 2001-03. Under his direction, Tulsa's goalkeepers had career bests in saves, shutouts and goals against average in a season. During the 2002 season, the Hurricanes were ranked 12th nationally and fifth in the Midwest Region.
                Pittman, who is licensed by the United States Soccer Federation with a USSF "B" coaching license, has also coached on the club level including stints with the Pride Soccer Club of Missouri, the Tulsa Soccer Club of Oklahoma and the Little Rock Futbol Club of Arkansas.
                As a four-year letterman, he was the starting goalkeeper at the University of Tulsa from 1993-96 and was a second-team Missouri Valley All-Conference pick in 1995. As a senior, the Hurricanes were ranked in the top 25.
                Professionally, Pittman played for the Barrow Amateur Football Club in England while studying at Lancaster University. After training with the Division I Sheffield United and Burnley Football Club, he returned to the United States and played with the Columbus Comets and the Savannah RugRatz in the Eastern Indoor Soccer League.
                Pittman, originally from Owasso, Okla., received his bachelor's of science degree in business administration from Tulsa and has done graduate work in education toward his masters degree. He is married to former Amber Swinehart, who was an All-Big XII player at Missouri.
                Pittman and his wife Amber have a daughter, Emma, who is five months old.

ASSISTANT COACH LISA BERG: Beginning her second season with the ASU Soccer program, Lisa Berg was named assistant soccer coach at Arkansas State University Aug. 9, 2008.
                Berg comes to ASU from Minnesota, where she served as a volunteer assistant for the last two years with the Golden Gopher soccer program.   Berg was an Academic All-Big 10 player for the Golden Gophers from 2003-05 and helped rebuild the Minnesota soccer program during her time as a player and assistant coach.  While at Minnesota, Berg helped lift the Gopher program from the bottom of the Big 10 to a consistent qualifier for the conference tournament in a league that annually sends multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament.
                "I am very excited to have Lisa on board here at Arkansas State," said Pittman.  "She brings a ton of energy and enthusiasm.  She also brings a great amount of experience to ASU after being involved with a top program at Minnesota.  I think that having that big-school mentality will help our players realize what it takes to continue to raise our program to the next level."
                "Lisa is also fantastic at community service," added Pittman.  "She is already looking for ways to get our kids out in the community and help raise the awareness of soccer in the Jonesboro area."
                She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2006 after majoring in Kinesiology/Pre Physical Therapy, with minors in Chemistry and Spanish.  Berg currently holds a USSF National C Coaching License and while in Minnesota worked with the St. Croix Soccer Club, the North Suburban Soccer Club and the East Select Soccer Club.  She also worked with the Minnesota Olympic Development Program.
                "My experience with helping to rebuild the program at Minnesota and seeing the processes involved with that will really fit well with Arkansas State," said Berg.  "There is so much potential here with the facilities, staff and community support.  The players have bought into wanting to build a really solid program as well.  Coach Pittman and I work well together, have similar ideas, and will complement each other as a staff."

HELP BUILD A WINNING TRADITION:  ASU soccer fans have the opportunity to help the Red Wolves build a winning soccer tradition by joining the Red Wolves Goal Club.  Level 1 ($50) members receive a quarterly newsletter and an autographed 2009 ASU Soccer poster.  Level 2 members($100) receive the benefits of Level 1, plus a ticket to the ASU soccer banquet and an ASU T-shirt.  For more information or to join the Red Wolves Goal Club, contact assistant coach Lisa Berg at 870-972-8193 or lberg@astate.edu.

RED WOLVES KIDS' CLUB:  Youth agest 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 Lisa Berg at 870-972-8193 or lberg@astate.edu.

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