Mustangs Open C-USA Play Against South Carolina In Monday Night Futbol

Go smu! Ben Hill
Go smu!
Ben Hill
Go smu!

Sept. 22, 2012

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MONDAY, SEPT. 24, 2012 - 7 PM

The Last Meeting
South Carolina0
November 11, 2011
Tulsa, Okla.
Mustangs Shut Out No. 1 Seed South Carolina, Advance To C-USA Championship
The SMU men's soccer team shut out No. 1 seed South Carolina, 1-0, in the semifinals of the Conference USA Championship Friday night at Hurricane Stadium. The Mustangs will play in the C-USA Championship match on Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. With the win, SMU is now 12-6-1.

SMU (4-2-2, 0-0 C-USA) vs. SOUTH CAROLINA (3-4-1, 0-1 C-USA)
SMU holds an 8-6-2 edge in the all-time series against South Carolina. The Mustangs defeated the Gamecocks, 1-0, on a goal by Ben Hill in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship last season.

Jaime Ibarra, Damian Rosales and Aaron Simmons earned weekly honors after helping the Mustangs post a 2-0 record in back-to-back shutouts to win the SMU Classic over the weekend. Ibarra, a junior goalkeeper, was tabbed the Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week and MVP of the SMU Classic. Rosales, a sophomore defender, was named to the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week while Simmons, a sophomore defender, was selected to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Rosales and Simmons were also selected to the SMU Classic All-Tournament team.

SMU tied CSU Bakersfield, 1-1, Thursday night at Westcott Field. The Mustangs got on the board in the 43rd minute. Hill received a ball from midfield and beat the CSU goalie only to have a defender reach out his hand to stop the goal. SMU was awarded a penalty kick for the handball which sophomore Andrew Morales converted for a 1-0 lead. The goal was his second of the season.

The Roadrunners knotted the score at one on Ernesto Hinojosa's goal in the 89th minute. A cross was sent into the box and the attempted clear by SMU went directly to Hinojosa. Hinojosa took a touch and hit a shot from 22 yard out into the left upper 90, sending the game to extra time.

In the second overtime, CSU Bakersfield had a chance to end the game on a penalty kick after a player was taken out in the box. Hinojosa stepped up to the mark and fired his shot right, but Ibarra was there to make a diving save. The penalty kick stop was Ibarra's second in the past three games.

SMU defeated UC Davis, 1-0, on Sept. 16 at Westcott Field to win the SMU Classic Presented by Jason's Deli. Simmons scored his first goal of the season after SMU was awarded a free kick from 21 yards out. Morales took the kick, finding Simmons in the box who headed the ball home with 1:24 left in regulation. Ibarra made three saves on the afternoon to earn his second consecutive clean sheet.

On Friday, the Mustangs defeated Oakland, 1-0, in overtime. Oakland's best look on goal came on a penalty kick opportunity in the 80th minute, but Ibarra made a diving save to keep the game scoreless and send it to extra time.

In the 95th minute, freshman Leobardo Vazquez received a feed from Morales, shook a defender and sent a 17-yard shot up over the goalie and in for the SMU win. The goal was Vazquez's second of the season and first career game-clincher.

Ibarra was named MVP of the SMU Classic after posting two shutouts. Simmons, Rosales and midfielder T.J. Nelson were also named to the SMU Classic All-Tournament team.

SMU has made the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons and in 16 of the past 18 years. The Mustangs reached the Elite Eight in 2010, taking No. 4 North Carolina to extra time before falling on penalty kicks. Overall, the program has 28 postseason appearances, going 31-22-7. The Mustangs advanced to the College Cup in 2000 and 2005.

Junior Juan Castillo was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team. Castillo played in 17 games for the Mustangs last year and was second on the team in points (13), goals (5) and game-winning goals (3). He was tabbed Second Team All-C-USA and was named to the NSCAA Midwest Region Second Team in 2011.

The Mustangs travel to Birmingham, Ala., to face UAB on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Last year, SMU shut out the Blazers 2-0 in the C-USA Championship final to claim the Mustangs' first tournament title since 2006.