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Dallas Soccer News - SMU soccer, FC Dallas, Bruno Guarda, Jonathan Lester, Jeff Harwell, Craig Hill

SMU holds FC Dallas 0-0

Published 2/27/2008 3:19:14 PM by staff from smusoccer
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Goalkeepers Craig Hill and Jonathan Lester anchored a stingy defense Tuesday night to lead the SMU men's soccer team to a 0-0 tie against FC Dallas in the Mustangs' first exhibition game of the spring.  Graduation and injuries forced SMU to field a juggled lineup, and head coach Schellas Hyndman said the Ponies' performance was more than he expected.

"This was a great game for SMU," Hyndman said. "Whenever a college team plays a professional team, you're usually not expected to have a strong performance. Our guys played with a lot of character, and played very well. We only had two substitutes, because we're so banged up with injuries, and I couldn't be more proud of the players and their performance. It's very encouraging to get a shutout, especially against a professional team. One of the things we've identified that we need to make better this spring is our defense, and what better opponent to show that progress against than FC Dallas. All of the players should be very proud of the result."

Midfielder Bruno Guarda, a Hermann Trophy finalist and All-America honoree last year, picked up where he left off last season, prompting Hyndman to call him "one of the best midfielders on the field - for either team." In addition, Hyndman was pleased with the performances of several other players who were filling new roles: Kekoa Osorio filled the defensive midfielder position vacated by graduating Ben Shuleva, Esteban Mariel moved from his forward spot to a central defender position, and Pana Vasquez started at one outside midfield spot, after spending last season as a reserve forward.

I thought all of those guys played well, and Craig (Hill) and Jonathan (Lester), too," Hyndman said. "We're trying to establish a new starting goalkeeper for the fall, and each of those guys played a half and made a key save. I really couldn't be happier with the team's performance."

The game was the first in a spring in which the Mustangs are working to "adjust the culture" of the team," Hyndman said. The team's focus now centers on four "pillars" that have been laid out as the foundation for the team's success: academics; soccer; lifestyle (work ethic, dedication, nutrition, etc.); and summer - the coaches do not want the players to view the summer as an offseason, but rather as an extended preseason.  "We spent a lot of time putting this program together," Hyndman said, "and I'm really proud of the players for buying into it, and I think it's going to pay off in the fall."

Label: SMU soccer, FC Dallas, Bruno Guarda, Jonathan Lester, Jeff Harwell, Craig Hill
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