Mustangs Host Defending Champs Akron In NCAA Second Round

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

Nov. 18, 2011

NCAA - Second Round
No. 10 Akron (14-3-4, 6-0 MAC) at No. 19 SMU Mustangs (13-6-1, 4-3-1 C-USA)

Nov. 20 - 7 p.m. CT
Westcott Field - Dallas, Texas

Expanded Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

SMU holds a 1-1 all-time record against Akron. The teams last squared off on Sept. 4, 2009, in the Hurricane Classic in Tulsa, Okla. The then-No. 3 Zips edged the Mustangs 1-0. Akron advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by defeating Big 10 regular season and conference tournament winner Northwestern, 3-1, on Thursday. Akron, the defending National Champions, is making its 26th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

SMU is the No. 6 seed in this year's NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The Mustangs are making their 28th appearance in the tournament and hold a 31-21-7 all-time record in NCAA postseason play. SMU advanced to the College Cup in both 2000 and 2005.

Seniors Arthur Ivo and Diogo de Almeida have received national recognition after helping lead the Mustangs to the Conference USA Tournament title. Ivo was selected the College Soccer News National Player of the Week, and de Almeida was named to the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week. Ivo was named the C-USA Championship Offensive MVP, while de Almeida earned Defensive MVP honors.

SMU earned its first Conference USA Championship since 2006 by defeating No. 17 UAB, 2-0, Nov. 13.

Junior Ben Hill put the Mustangs on the board in the 34th minute. Ivo was fouled just outside of the 18-yard box, drawing an SMU free kick. Ivo took the kick, sending the ball into the box to Hill who knocked it home for a 1-0 Mustang lead. The goal was Hill's third of the season and second of the tournament.

Freshman Aaron Simmons added insurance for Mustangs when he headed home an Ivo corner in the 59th minute for a 2-0 advantage. The goal was Simmons' second of the year.

SMU goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra had another spectacular day in goal for the Mustangs, picking up his fifth shutout of the season. Ibarra's biggest save of the game came in the 85th minute when he stopped a header on the line from UAB's leading scorer Babayele Sodade. He also made a diving save on Chase Wickham in the 79th minute, sending the ball off of his fingertips and just wide of the goal.

Defender Diogo de Almeida is the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and was named First Team All-Conference USA along with midfielder Arthur Ivo. Forward Juan Castillo and midfielder T.J. Nelson were selected Second Team All-Conference. Defender Aaron Simmons was named to the All-Freshman team. de Almeida and captain Adam Still were tabbed Academic All-Conference USA.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under, and $1 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Blocks of 50 or more tickets are $1 apiece. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 214-SMU-GAME (214-768-4263).