ASU Soccer faces Troy and South Alabama in SBC action this weeke - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ASU Soccer faces Troy and South Alabama in SBC action this weekend

From Arkansas State University

KICKING IT OFF: Arkansas State will travel to Troy, Alabama to take on the Trojans of Troy University in a conference matchup Friday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. This will be the eigth meeting all-time between ASU and Troy. The Trojans lead the series 4-3. The road trip continues on Sunday, Oct. 7, in Mobile, Alabama with a conference matchup with the Jaguars of South Alabama. This will be the thirteenth all-time meeting between ASU and USA. The Jaguars lead the series 9-2-1.

THE OPPONENT: Troy finished the 2011 season with a record of 9-11-1 and a conference record of 4-7. The Trojans return seven starters from the 2011 squad. Midfielders Alissa Jones and Chelsey Williams were named 1st team All-Conference and Forward Nikki Stamaris and Defender Erin Cersley were named 2nd team All-Conference in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason poll.

South Alabama returns eight starters from the team that finished 12-5-3 and a fifth place finish in conference play in the 2011 season. The Jaguars have a 6-6-1 record entering the weekend with wins over Nicholls State, Alabama State, and Southern Mississippi. Forward Linsey Snavely and Goalkeeper Lauren Arnold were named 2nd teamAll-Conference in the Sun Belt Preseason poll.

NATIONAL RANKING: The Red Wolves are ranked 32nd in the nation in scoring offense with 2.23 scoring average per game. ASU is tied with North Texas for second in the Sun Belt. Middle Tennessee leads the confernce and nation with a 3.24 average. The Red Wolves are ranked 42nd in shutout percentage with a .462 shutout percentage.
Christina Fink is ranked 58th in the nation in total points with 58. Fink and Ashley McMurtry are both ranked 61st in the nation in total assists with five assists.

CONFERENCE RANKING: ASU is tied for the conference lead in shutouts with Western Kentucky and North Texas with six shutouts. The Red Wolves are ranked 2nd in the conference in total points (81), assists (23), assists per game (1.77). tied for 2nd in goals per game (2.23). ASU and North Texas share the 2nd spot in the conference in goals (29) and goals per game (2.23).
Christina Fink is tied for 3rd in the conference with 17 total points. Goalkeeper Aja Aguirre leads the confference in save percentage with a .825 percentage and is second in the conference in goals against average with a 0.96 goals allowed per game.

Home Sweet Home: The Red Wolves have a 7-0 record at home this year. They have an eight-match winning streak dating back to last season and have not lost at home since Sept. 28, 2011.

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: Arkansas State tied for the most wins in school history with their eighth win of the seaon. The previous eight win season was 2009.

SETTING RECORDS: Ashley McMurtry is the school leader all-time in assists and is currently fourth on the all-time scoring list.

LAST TIME OUT: The Arkansas State University women's soccer team is proving there's no place like home as the Red Wolves were victorious at home for the sixth time in a row this season and tied a school mark for most single-season wins with a 2-0 decision over Louisiana-Lafayette this Sunday (Sept. 30) afternoon in a Sun Belt Conference tilt at the ASU Soccer Complex.

A-State, which improves to 8-5-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the conference to date this fall, scored twice in the first half en route to stretching its home victory string to seven straight dating back to last season. Moreover, the Red Wolves' eight-wins total equals the school record set by the 2009 squad which compiled an 8-10-3 overall record.

"It's a very important that we beat a tough team like Louisiana-Lafayette," said third-year ASU head coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge. "I was very impressed with how our girls came out fighting and it's players like Katie Hosea, who's played two back-to-back 90-minute games, is what keeps us going.

"We're looking forward to the challenge of trying to pick up some more wins and hope we can go back to the conference tournament this season," added Ziyenge.

Sophomore forward Jena' Kelley snapped a scoreless deadlock with her fourth goal of the season just 8:21 into the match. Kelley netted the unassisted tally on a shot from the right side outside the box into the upper left corner of the Ragin' Cajuns goal to put A-State up 1-0.

ASU would add an insurance marker about 12 minutes later when sophomore midfielder Christina Fink headed the ball off a free kick in the middle of the field into the left side of the ULL net. Senior midfielder Ashley McMurtry picked up an assist on Fink's team-leading sixth goal of the year.

Senior goalkeeper Aja Aguirre stopped her lone shot on goal to notch her second shutout of this season. Louisiana-Lafayette netminder Amanda Moorefield held off seven shots on goal for the match in absorbing the loss.

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. .

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

FOLLOW THE RED WOLVES ON FACEBOOK: To become a fan of our Facebook Page, go to 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 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!

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