Mustangs Blank Rutgers, 1-0, In First American Athletic Conference Match
Sept. 20, 2013
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (SMU) - Sophomore forward Alfred Koroma found the back of the net in the 64th minute for his team-leading third goal of the season to lead the SMU men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Rutgers in its first contest as part of the American Athletic Conference. The win improved SMU's record to 2-5 overall and 1-0 in league action, while the Scarlet Knights fell to 3-3-1 and 0-1 in conference play.
"The win is a great first step for the team and the school this season," Head Coach Tim McClements said. "We obviously had a difficult start to the season but we have the opportunity to open a new chapter. We've fallen on the wrong side of results but it feels great to get this win for the team and the staff. We hope there are more to come."
Koroma's goal came in a second half that saw an improvement in offensive production for the Mustangs. Koroma brought the ball inside the 18-yard box on the right side and was able to beat the RU keeper inside the near post. Junior midfielder Andrew Morales was credited with his first assist of the season on the goal.
SMU registered six shots in the second frame, after managing only three in the opening half. Rutgers finished the match with 13 shots to the Mustangs' nine, but SMU had the narrow edge in shots on goal, 5-4. RU had the 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
"We knew we had to get into the offensive third and create more opportunities in the second half," McClements added. "Rutgers is a really good team and I think they will do great in conference. We've just learned that with our schedule the margin of victory is very thin and we came back in the second half and made it a hard fought match."
Senior Jaime Ibarra recorded his first shutout of the season with four saves in a full 90 minutes in the net.
"Jaime played great and kept the ball out of the net," McClements said. "Rutgers had the ball in dangerous positions and they are very effective on set pieces, but Jaime played great for us. Him and the guys came out prepared for battle and they deserved to win."
SMU is back in action on Friday when it steps out of conference action and travels to Seattle, Wash., for a match with No. 6 Washington. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT. Check SMUMustangs.com for ways to follow the match.