Dallas Soccer DFW

SMU men win in South Carolina

Published 10/25/2007 8:55:04 AM by staff from smu

The SMU men's soccer team, ranked No. 2 in the nation in the newest Soccer America magazine poll, took a huge step toward the Conference USA regular-season title with a 2-1 win Wednesday night over South Carolina in a game that was broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.  The Mustangs improved to 10-2-2, and 5-0-1 in Conference USA games. The Gamecocks slipped to 9-5-1, and 2-1-1 in C-USA games. The Mustangs now hold a 5-3-1 all-time advantage over South Carolina.

In slippery rain-soaked conditions, before a crowd of 877, the Mustangs and Gamecocks battled to a scoreless tie at halftime. But the Ponies got on the scoreboard early in the second half. Junior midfielder Jeff Harwell lifted a 35-yard lead pass toward the goal in the 48th minute, which junior forward Richard Oliva collected and fired across the goal into the lower left corner of the net.  SMU got what proved to be the eventual game-winner in the 81st minute when sophomore forward Dane Saitus dribbled into the left corner, dropped the ball back to junior defender Daniel Lopez, who then crossed the ball to the middle of the field. Junior midfielder Bruno Guarda settled the ball in the box and flicked a shot off the outside of his right foot past USC goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer - who entered the game with a conference-leading goals-against average of 0.92 - to give SMU a 2-0 lead.

USC scored on a Jeff Scannella penalty kick in the 89th minute, but SMU dominated the game, outshooting South Carolina, 20-4. The Mustangs now return home to face Memphis at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27.

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