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Dallas Soccer News - NCAA soccer tournament, college soccer tournament, bruno guarda, George Josten

SMU to host Gonzaga in 1st Round of NCAA Soccer Saturday

Published 11/19/2007 6:33:03 PM by staff from smusoccer
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The SMU men's soccer team will host the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Westcott Field. The bid extends the Mustangs' streak of reaching the national tournament to 14 consecutive years, and marks the first meeting ever between the programs. The winner of Saturday's game will travel to Omaha, Neb., to face Creighton.

The Mustangs - ranked #11  in the Soccermogul.com poll - earned the bid on the strength of their 13-4-2 (6-1-1 in Conference USA games) record. The Bulldogs enter the game with a mark of 9-6-4 overall, and 4-4-4 in West Coast Conference games. The 'Dogs are riding a four-game winless streak, having lost their last three games after battling St. Mary's to a scoreless draw.

Saturday's game will begin the Mustangs' 26th overall. For SMU head coach Schellas Hyndman, whose career record of 465-121-49 gives him more victories than any active coach in the nation other than UNC-Greensboro's Michael Parker, the playoff berth will be his 23rd in 24 years at SMU, and his 30th overall.  The Mustangs are accustomed to taking on the best in the postseason - the Ponies were eliminated last year by eventual national champion UC Santa Barbara, and the Mustangs were knocked out of the 2005 College Cup (college soccer's final four) by eventual national champion Maryland.

The Mustangs are led by junior midfielder All-America candidate Bruno Guarda, who was named Conference USA Player of the Year this season for the second time in as many years. Guarda led the conference in scoring this season with 21 points on seven goals and seven assists, and in game-winning goals with four. Guarda and two senior teammates - midfielder Ben Shuleva and defender Adrian Chevannes - were named first-team All-Conference USA this year.

Gonzaga is led by senior forward George Josten, who has 17 points this season on five goals and seven assists. Goalkeeper Vito Higgins anchored the Bulldogs' defense this season, playing every minute of the season between the pipes, registering 71 saves and posting six shutouts.

Label: NCAA soccer tournament, college soccer tournament, bruno guarda, George Josten
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