Dallas Soccer DFW

SMU Breaks Slump with Win at UAB

Published 10/23/2008 7:57:45 AM by staff from dallas

It looked like it was to be another frustrating game for the once invincible SMU mens soccer team.  Eighty minutes into the match against an inferior UAB soccer team the score was still tied at 0-0.  Enter freshman Diogu de Almeida who raced to the rescue and perhaps sved SMUs season.  Diogu scored a pair of goals 65 seconds apart to lead the SMU to a 2-0 win Wednesday night over Conference USA rival UAB in Birmingham.

The teams battled through 83 scoreless minutes before de Almeida broke the game open. de Almeida took advantage of a mistake by the UAB defense as the ball rolled through the mouth of the goal after a corner kick, pouncing on the ball and burying a shot from point-blank range, with the assist going to fellow freshman Payton Hickey in the 84th minute.

Then, just over a minute later, de Almeida put the game out of reach. With UAB pressing everyone forward in pursuit of an equalizing goal, de Almeida noticed UAB netminder Wes Johnson creeping forward out of the goal and lifted a 45 yard bomb that sailed over Johnson into the net.   The goals were de Almeida's fourth and fifth of the season, tying him with senior forward Paulo da Silva for the team goals lead.  On the other end, UAB fired nine shots, including five on goal. Hill saved all five to earn the shutout.

With three games left in the regular season, the Mustangs (8-4-2 overall and 1-3-1 in C-USA games) now head to Orlando to face UCF Saturday night, before returning home to face Kentucky in the regular-season finale at noon, Sunday, November 2. The Conference USA men's soccer tournament will be held at SMU's Westcott Field November 12-16.

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