Sep 1, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (SMU) - A pair of early goals lifted No. 7 Notre Dame to a 2-1 victory over the SMU men's soccer team on Sunday at the IU Credit Union Classic. With the victory, the Fighting Irish move to 1-0-1 on the season, while the Mustangs fall to 0-2.
Overall, Head Coach Tim McClements was happy with the team's performance at the Classic. "Obviously not the response you want in the win/loss category, but we came to this tournament with some of the top competition in the country to test us. I think we responded well and learned a lot about ourselves as a young team."
The first half went to ND, as senior Leon Brown did the early damage with both goals in the opening frame. The Fighting Irish also had the early 9-1 edge in shots. Sophomore Alfred Koroma registered the lone SMU shot.
The Mustangs' goal came in a second half in which SMU and ND were nearly equal in offensive production. Sophomore Brenden Lee found the back of the net on a shot from outside the 18-yard box off an assist from classmate Will Smith to pull SMU within a goal. Despite the offensive surge in the half, the Mustangs could not complete the comeback.
"The game with Indiana was a back and forth game of just good college soccer, but today we didn't come out as strong in the first half," McClements said in comparison of the weekend's matches. "We regrouped well in the second half, and I'm happy they responded that way. Today's match was just a tale of two halves."
SMU was outshot 20-10 in the match, but only 5-4 in shots on goal. Corner kicks also went to ND, 6-4.
Koroma registered three shots in the match, while Smith and sophomore John Lujano each had a pair.
"Koroma is a huge threat for us on the field," McClements added. "He has the ability to score by himself and with the team. He causes a lot of teams difficulty and players want to play around him. I definitely consider him one of the top players in the country coming out."
Senior Jaime Ibarra tallied three saves in the loss.
SMU is back in action on Friday when it faces SIU Edwardsville in its first match of the Tulsa Tournament. Check SMUMustangs.com for ways to follow the 5:00 p.m. match.