No. 20 Mustangs Face Kentucky On Friday In C-USA Semifinals

Go smu! Jaime Ibarra
Go smu!
Jaime Ibarra
Go smu!

Nov. 7, 2012

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#20 SMU MEN'S SOCCER vs. Kentucky
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP - SEMIFINALS
FRIDAY, NOV. 9, 2012 - 5 PM
REGIONS PARK - HOOVER, ALA.

SMU (10-4-3, 6-2 C-USA) vs. KENTUCKY (10-8-1, 4-3-1 C-USA)
SMU holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series against Kenucky. The teams last squared off on Oct. 6, as the Mustangs downed the Wildcats, 2-0, at Westcott Field. Sophomore Tyler Engel recorded a goal and an assist, and junior Juan Castillo added a goal for SMU. The schools played in the 2006 Conference USA Championship game, with SMU pulling out a 2-0 win for its first C-USA crown and sixth tournament title in 10 years.

MUSTANGS NO. 20 IN NSCAA POLL
The Mustangs are No. 20 in this week's NSCAA National Rankings. SMU is ranked second in the Midwest Region behind Creighton.

SMU DOMINATES C-USA SEASON AWARDS
After winning the Conference USA regular season title, SMU dominated the C-USA post-season awards announced Tuesday. Head coach Tim McClements was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons after leading the Mustangs to another league title. Junior goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra was tabbed Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and was selected First Team All-C-USA. Senior T.J. Nelson and sophomores Tyler Engel, Damian Rosales and Aaron Simmons were named to the All-Conference USA second team. Newcomer Andrew Morales was tabbed third-team All-C-USA, and John Lujano and Michael King were named to the C-USA All-Freshman team.

MUSTANGS WIN CONFERENCE USA
SMU clinched the Conference USA regular season title with a 6-2 mark in Conference USA and is the top seed for the C-USA Championship. It is the Mustangs' fourth C-USA regular season title (2005, 2006, 2010, 2012) since joining the league. SMU has also claimed two C-USA Championships (2006, 2011).

SMU FALLS IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
SMU fell, 2-1, to Memphis in the regular season finale Nov. 2 at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The Mustangs opened the scoring in the 29th minute on a goal by senior Ben Hill. Engel sent a lead pass up the right side to Rosales who crossed the ball into the box for Hill. Hill then volleyed the ball home from five yards out for a 1-0 SMU lead.

Memphis evened the score on a goal by leading-scorer Mark Sherrod in the 41st minute. Sherrod received a cross from just outside the right side of box and headed it in from seven yards out to tie the game at one.

The Tigers netted the eventual game-winner on a penalty kick in the 74th minute. Memphis was awarded the kick after Sherrod was taken down in the box. Sherrod took the shot, sending the ball right as Ibarra dived the other way. Ibarra has saved two of the three penalty kicks he's faced this season.

MARSHALL COURT
SMU defeated Marshall, 1-0, in overtime on Senior Day Oct. 28 at Westcott Field. After a scoreless 90 minutes of play, Engel broke through with a goal just 1:13 into the first overtime. Junior Juan Castillo ran up the right side to the end line and fed a pass to Engel. Engel then cut a defender and fired a shot just inside the near post from eight yards out.

Ibarra made three saves on the afternoon to earn his sixth shutout of the season.

Seniors Ben Hill, T.J. Nelson, Juan Robles and Ryan Rosenbaum were honored in a pregame ceremony.

NO GOAL FOR YOU!
Goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra has been solid in net for the Mustangs this year. The junior shut out Marshall Oct. 28, had a three-match shutout streak Sept. 29-Oct. 6 (at No. 23 UAB, vs. No. 20 Tulsa, vs. Kentucky) and blanked the opposition in back-to-back games Sept. 14-16 (vs. Oakland, vs. UC Davis). Ibarra even saved a penalty kick on Sept. 14 against Oakland and again on Sept. 20 versus CSU Bakersfield. He has seven games this year with six or more saves and has recorded 88 total stops this season, which ranks him 15th nationally. He averages 5.18 saves per game (21st NCAA) and holds an 84.6% save percentage (12th NCAA).

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS!
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.

NEXT GAME - C-USA TOURNAMENT
The winner of this game advances to the Conference USA Championship match at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.