ATHENS, Ga. - Mississippi State's men's tennis team began competition Friday at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga., the opening event for MSU's 2008 fall campaign.
In the Division I singles draw, senior Ryan Farlow and rookie Daniel Sanchez both fell in tough three-set affairs for the Bulldogs. Farlow was held off by Brad Cox of Kentucky 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Sanchez, playing in his first match ever as a Bulldog, took the first set from 71st-ranked Javier Garrapiz of host Georgia, but ultimately dropped a 6-7, 6-0, 6-4 decision. Both MSU players will compete in consolation action Saturday.
In Division II singles, sophomore Antonio Lastre received a first-round bye and then rallied to defeat Yannick Yoshizawa of South Florida in the second round in three sets, 5-7, 6-0, 7-6. He will play again Saturday in the third round.
Also earning a bye in Division II, MSU junior Chris Doerr dropped his match in the second round of that draw to Alex Ahlgren of East Tennessee State, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. State sophomore Tanner Stump took his first-round match in two sets, 7-5, 6-1, defeating Matthew Rock of Jacksonville. He then fell 6-4, 6-2 to Furman's eighth-seeded Chris Motes.
MState had two pairings in doubles competing late Friday evening. In Division I, Farlow and Sanchez faced the top-seeded and 15th-ranked Kentucky duo of Bruno Agostinelli and Cox of Kentucky, falling 8-1. In Division II doubles, Bulldogs Doerr and Stump posted an impressive 8-2 victory over Mario Gutierrez and Justin Kirstein of Tennessee Tech.
Main draw singles and doubles action will continue on Saturday, while consolation singles will also begin Saturday.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior Bethany Frazier scored her first goal of the season in the 78th minute, but the Bulldog soccer team was unable to complete the second-half rally, dropping a tough, 2-1 decision to Memphis on a rain-soaked Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
Head coach Neil Macdonald's squad falls to 4-4 on the year, while the Tigers improve to 4-2 overall. After allowing a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the match, MState fought back to out-shoot UM 16-11 in a game which saw a 40-minute thunderstorm delay that soaked the pitch.
Junior goalkeeper Taryn Holland stopped six shots in the opening 45 minutes, but she did not have to halt a shot in the second half thanks to a stellar defensive performance.
State's strong defensive effort sparked the offense, with the Bulldogs collecting nine shots in the second period. MSU cut the 2-0 edge to a single goal as Frazier lined a perfectly-placed pass from junior Hannah Tyler into the left side of the net. The assist was Tyler's first of the season.
The wet field kept the tying goal from crossing the line just five minutes later. On a pass into the middle of the box, Tyler slipped past her defender and directed a shot that appeared to be heading into the goal. The drenched playing surface stopped the ball just shy of the goal line, allowing UM keeper Jordan Boyle the opportunity to make the save.
"We came out slow in the first half," Macdonald said. "I have to give our kids a lot of credit, though, because after falling down 2-0 we relaxed, rolled up our sleeves and fought our way back into the game. I'm proud of the way we played in the second half because we didn't give up. We worked hard, and that hard work almost paid off tonight."
State managed seven shots in the opening half, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunities on goal. Just minutes after dropping the first goal of the night, the Dogs answered right back only to see Frazier's shot sail just wide of the post.
In the 20th minute, the Bulldogs had a couple of chances off corner kicks. On the first, Frazier delivered the ball to Heather Buttrey, whose shot was tipped over the cross bar. On the ensuing corner, Frazier found Lauren Morgan, but her shot attempt sailed over the top of the net.
In the 35th minute, sophomore Danielle Kite found some room, but Broyle came up with another big save, one of nine on the night. Just four minutes later, freshman Allison Ouren had another attempt stopped by the Tiger keeper.
State returns to the road Sunday, venturing to Hattiesburg to meet in-state foe Southern Mississippi, who is coached by former Bulldog assistants Scott Ebke and Jennie Altherr. Kickoff from the Marshall Bell Complex is set for 2 p.m.