Mustangs Play At Conference Rival UAB On Saturday

Go smu! Andrew Morales
Go smu!
Andrew Morales
Go smu!

Sept. 26, 2012

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SATURDAY, SEPT. 29, 2012 - 7 PM

The Last Meeting
November 13, 2011
Tulsa, Okla.
Mustangs Win Conference USA Title, Defeat UAB 2-0
TULSA, Okla. (SMU) - The SMU men's soccer team earned its first Conference USA Championship since 2006 by defeating No. 17 UAB, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Hurricane Stadium. Junior Ben Hill and freshman Aaron Simmons scored for the Mustangs. With the win, SMU is now 13-6-1 on the season.

SMU (5-2-2, 1-0 C-USA) vs. UAB (5-2-2, 0-0 C-USA)
SMU holds an 5-3-2 edge in the all-time series against UAB. Last year, The Mustangs shut out the Blazers, 2-0, in the C-USA Championship final to claim SMU's first tournament title since 2006.

Sophomore Tyler Engel scored two goals in 75 seconds as SMU defeated South Carolina, 2-1, to open C-USA play Monday night at Westcott Field. Engel's first tally came in the 34th minute. Freshman Derek Schrick sent a long through pass up the field to Engel, who dribbled past two defenders and chipped the ball over the South Carolina goalkeeper and in for a 1-0 lead. Engel doubled the score with a nearly identical goal just 75 seconds later. Sophomore Andrew Morales fed a ball up the middle to Engel who deked a defender and sent the ball to the lower right corner. Engel leads the Mustangs in points (11), goals (4) and game-winning goals (3).

South Carolina added a last-minute goal off of a corner kick, but SMU goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra had another stellar performance in the net for the Mustangs, making seven stops on the night.

SMU tied CSU Bakersfield, 1-1, Thursday night at Westcott Field. The Mustangs got on the board in the 43rd minute. Senior Ben 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 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.

Goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra has been solid in net for the Mustangs this year. The junior blanked the opposition in back-to-back games (Sept. 14-16) and even saved a penalty kick on Sept. 14 against Oakland and on Sept. 20 versus CSU Bakersfield. Ibarra has five games this year with six or more saves and has recorded 51 total stops this season. He averages 5.67 saves per game and holds a save percentage of 83.6%.

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 sophomore Aaron 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 Sept. 14, 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.

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.

SMU returns to Westcott Field to host Tulsa at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3. Tickets for the game are only $1. The Mustangs defeated the Golden Hurricane, 2-1, in Tulsa last season on goals from Juan Castillo and Diogo de Almeida.