ASU Soccer battles Memphis, Jackson State this weekend

KICKING IT OFF:  Arkansas State will travel to Memphis, Tennessee to take on the Tigers of Memphis in a non-conference matchup Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Arkansas State returns home on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m. to face the Tigers of Jackson State in a non-conference matchup. Both games will be the first matchup between the teams.
THE OPPONENT: Memphis  returns six starters from a team that finished the 2011 season with a 22-1-1 and a 10-0-1 record in C-USA. The Tigers opened the season with a 5-1 loss at Missouri. the Tigers could be without Christabel Oduro, Kylie Davis and Natalia Gomez-Junco who are representing their respective countries at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. 
Jackson State finished 2011 with a 7-9-1 record and a 3-0-1 record placing them first in the SWAC East. The Tigers opened the season with a loss at Lipscomb and home losses to Stephen F. Austin and Jacksonville State. Mid-Fielder Kimberlie Hernandez was selected as a Pre-Season All-SWAC Member.
Hit the Road: The Red Wolves opened a 2-game road trip with a 1-0 win against Murray State. They return to the field to face the Memphis Tigers before returning for a 3-game home stand.
Goose Egg: ASU has recorded two straight shutouts for the first time since the 2011 season, tied for the most since 2010 when the Red Wolves recorded three straight.
SHOOTING STARS: ASU took 28 shots against UAPB, which is tied for the 3rd most in a single match in school history. 
KELLEY SHINES: Jena Kelley's goal in the 86th minute agianst Murray State was the first game winning goal of her career. Her two assists against UAPB is tied for the second most assist in a single game in school history. Six other players have had two assists, while the all-time record stands at three assists in one match.
LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN: The Red Wolves' seven team assists against UAPB is tied for the second most in school history. The team previously had seven assists against the Golden Lions in 2004.
TAKING SHOTS: Loren Mitchell's three shots on goal against UAPB is the fourth most in school history.  
PROTECTING HOME FIELD: ASU moved to 6-5-1 all-time in home openers at the ASU Soccer Complex with the victory on Sunday. 
LAST TIME OUT: The Arkansas State soccer team opened its 2012 home schedule with a 6-0 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the ASU Soccer Complex.
ASU (1-1-0) jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first half thanks to early goals from Jena Kelly, Ashley McMurtry and Christina Fink. Kelly scored when her shot bounced off the goalkeeper and into the net after receiving the assist from Katie Hosea in the 22nd minute. McMurtry scored in the 39th minute on a pass from Loren Mitchell and Fink scored in the 43rd minute on a pass from Kelley to give A-State the 3-0 advantage.
The Red Wolves took 28 shots during the game, which is tied for the third most in a single match in ASU history. They also added 16 shots on goal and were award six corner kicks.
"I was very pleased with our ability to bounce back," ASU Soccer coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge said. "With such a young group when have a disappointment like we did on Friday and to be able to come back 48 hours later and put on the kind of performance we did today is pleasing."
In the second half, Mitchell added a goal in the 50th minute after putting a header into the net on an assist from Becca Wheeler, while Christina Giles pushed the lead to 5-0 with a goal in the 73rd minute. Aja Aguirre capped the scoring for ASU with a goal in the 79th minute. Aguirre also picked up an assist on Giles' goal with Kelley.
In goal for A-State Audrey Baldwin played the first half and did not face a shot, while Amanda Lee played the final 45 minutes made two saves.
SBC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The A-State soccer team returned to the Sun Belt Conference tournament for the first time 2009. The Red Wolves lost to the No. 2 FIU Panthers 2-0 in the first round and are now 0-7-1 all-time in the SBC Tournament.
TEAM RECORDS: ASU finished the year only one goal away from tying its all-time record for goals scored in a season, which stands at 35. ASU has also tied the school record for most conference wins in a season with five in 2007. 
SETTING THE BAR HIGH: Arkansas State tied for the second most wins in school history with seven in 2011. The mark was also equaled in 2003  and 2010. The all-time record for most wins in a season is eight, which was set in 2009.
OVERTIME: The Red Wolves broke the single-season record for overtime matches with six in a single season surpassing the previous mark of four. 
POINTS TALLY: ASU enjoyed is second best season in terms of points in 2011. The team scored 34 goals and had 30 assists for a total of 98 points, missing the mark for most points in a season by just four points which was set in 2009. The team also finished with highest all-time mark in team history with a 4.90 points per game average.
AVERAGING OUT: The Red Wolves had the best goals per game average in team history in 2011 with 1.70 average. The previous high was 1.67 set in 2009.
ASSISTING OUT: A-State finished with 30 total assists in 2011, the second most in team history.
TAKING AIM: The Red Wolves took the second most shots in school history, with 253 last season. The all-time record for shots in a season is 330 which was set in 2009. 
ASHLEY & ASHLEY: The Red Wolves will welcome back 10 letterwinners to the 2012 squad, including team captain's Ashley Jackson and Ashley McMurtry. Jackson finished the 2011 season with one goal and one assist while playing mostly in a defensive position, while McMurtry was second on the team with six assists.
NEW FACES: The Red Wolves welcomed 14 new faces to the roster during fall camp, including 11 freshmen. This year's squad will feature just three seniors and seven juniors. The rest of the team is comprised of sophomores and freshman. 
NORTH OF THE BORDER: This year's squad features three players from Canada. Goalkeeper Aja Aguirre, defender Lindsay Johansen and Goalkeeper Amanda Lee are all from Canada. 
TEXAS CONNECTION: Ten players on the current roster hail from the state of Texas, including two with ties to Plano. Texas is the most represented state on the Red Wolves roster.
DRAWING A CROWD: The ASU Soccer team drew over 2,000 fans to the ASU Soccer Complex in 2011 and averaged 206 fans a game, the fourth highest yearly attedance in school history.
HEAD COACH TAFADZWA ZIYENGE: Tafadzwa Ziyenge is in his third 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
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