Dallas Soccer DFW

SMU mens soccer opens 2015 with a pair of wins

Published 8/31/2015 8:53:04 AM by staff from dallas

It was a perfect start to the 2015 college soccer season for the SMU Mustangs as they won a pair of games this weekend at Westcott Field.  On Friday night SMU dispatched Sacramento State by a 2-0 score while on Sunday Illinois-Chicago provided a more difficult test.

A freshman opened the scoring for the Mustangs in the 27th minute on Friday night in the home opener.  Caleb Smith got on the end of a cross from Mauro Cichero and scored from 12 yards out to get the season going.  A late insurance goal from Stanton Garcia sealed the deal.  Goalkeeper Michael Nelson made a pair of saves in the SMU net to earn the opening night shutout.

Coach Kevin Hudson added after the win. "We weren't great but for the first game of the year it showed a lot of character and heart for the group to see the game against a challenging opponent," Hudson said. "I think tactically they gave us a bit of trouble at first until we got the right information to the players on how to break it down. Overall, I can't lose sight of the victory and we had a lot of young guys who hadn't been through it."

Sunday offered a talented team from Illinois-Chicago.  The match was scoreless until midway through the second half when UIC took a shock lead in the 70th minute through Max Todd.  SMU would not roll over though and had the match tied in the 82nd minute.

Sophomore Bryce Clark put home a nice pass from Jacob Speed and suddenly all the momentum shifted in favor of the Mustangs.  Soon after SMU found the winning goal as Stanton Garcia finished a cross from Jared Rice.  A very impressive come from behind 2-1 victory for SMU.

"The game was a little too exciting but the resolving part of the group was good to see," Hudson said. "They could have rolled over after giving up a goal in the 70th minute but we fought to come back and continued to push. It was good to see out of a young team and it bodes well for the future."

The team heads to Boston for the Labor Day weekend to face off against Boston College and Harvard.  The two matches will provide stiff tests and allow the squad to see exactly how they stack up with a pair of East Coast programs.
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