Nov. 9, 2012
HOOVER, Ala. (SMU) - The No. 20 SMU men's soccer team will play in the Conference USA Championship on Sunday after twice rebounding from one-goal deficits to tie Kentucky, 2-2, and win penalty kicks, 4-1, in the semifinals of the C-USA tournament Friday night at Regions Park. Sophomore Andrew Morales and junior Juan Castillo scored in regulations for the Mustangs. With the tie, SMU is now 10-4-4 on the year.
Kentucky struck early with a goal in the third minute by Cameron Wilder. Matt Lodge made a run down the right sideline and took a shot that was blocked by an SMU defender. Wilder collected the rebound and fired a 20-yard shot top shelf for a 1-0 Wildcat lead.
Morales evened the score at one with his 28th-minute goal. Castillo ran down the right side to the end line and sent a cross into the box for senior Ben Hill. Hill's shot was blocked, but Morales gathered the rebound and launched a bullet from the edge of the six-yard box. The goal was the fourth of the season for Morales.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the 61st minute as Bryan Celis crossed the ball into the box to Gabriel Conelian who headed it in, making it 2-1 Kentucky.
Castillo scored a goal of his own in the 75th minute after senior Ryan Rosenbaum picked up the ball in the middle of the attacking half and fed Castillo. Castillo then took a touch, pulled the ball back and shot the ball from the top of the 18-yard box, knotting the score, 2-2. The tally was his second of the year.
The teams remained tied, 2-2, after two overtime periods, taking the game to penalty kicks. SMU shot first and took a 1-0 advantage as freshman John Lujano converted the opportunity. Junior goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra saved the Wildcats' first kick by Charley Pettys who sent his attempt right and into the right hand of Ibarra. Freshman Eddie Puskarich made his goal, followed by Lodge of Kentucky. Morales found the back of the net for the second time with his penalty kick for a 3-1 SMU lead. Ibarra picked up his second stop in PKs as he again went to his left for a save against Marco Bordon. Freshman Michael King sealed penalty kicks with his shot as SMU won 4-1.
SMU plays in the Conference USA Championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Regions Park against the winner of the Tulsa/UAB semifinal. The game will be televised live in a national broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.