Oct. 31, 2011
(3) SMU Mustangs (11-7-1, 7-3-1) vs. (6) Rice (9-7-3, 4-5-2)
Nov. 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Mike Rose Soccer Complex - Memphis, Tenn.
SMU vs. RICE
The Mustangs hold an 11-4-1 record all-time in the series with the Owls. On Sept. 30, SMU dropped a tight 1-0 match at home to Rice. In a deadlocked match for 80-plus minutes, Rice’s Gabriela Iribarne and Quynh-Nuh Truong got on a 2-on-1 break deep in SMU’s half in the 84th minute. Irabarne passed the ball to Truong on the left side, who then slotted a shot to the right side of the goal past Courtney Webb for the game-winner.
During last season’s regular season contest, the Owls also defeated the Mustangs by a one goal margin in a 2-1 overtime game at Rice Track/Soccer Stadium. Like this season, SMU and Rice also met in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship. In a scoreless match through 110 minutes, the Mustangs took a bit of revenge for the regular season matchup by bouncing the Owls out of the tournament 4-2 in penalty kicks as goalkeeper Courtney Webb not only stopped Rice’s first two attempts, but also converted her attempt.
MUSTANGS OUTRUN HURRICANE
SMU got out in front of Tulsa early as Briana Gaines got on the end of a 40-yard free kick from Courtney Smith in the 12th minute and Olivia Elliott punched in a shot from close range in the 20th minute to give the Ponies a 2-0 lead. The Golden Hurricane quickly responded as Claire Hulcer hit a shot from 20 yards out to cut the lead in half. SMU held on for the one-goal victory in what turned out to be a physical clash between regional rivals that saw 30 fouls called.
SHARING THE WEALTH
SMU has scored 27 goals on the year, with nine different players finding the back of the net, including one own goal. Kenzie Scovill currently leads the team with five goals. Of the team’s 18 assists, 12 different players have tallied at least one, with Courtney Smith leading the team with four.
SPINNING A WEBB
In 18 starts, goalkeeper Courtney Webb has recorded 61 saves, earning four shutouts. The senior currently holds a career-high 0.98 goals against average, which ranks fifth among keepers in Conference USA.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Mustang newcomers have accounted for 28 of the team’s 72 points, including 12 of the team’s 27 goals. Freshmen forwards Olivia Elliot and Briana Gaines are tied for second on the team with four goals apiece, while fellow freshman Rikki Clarke and sophomore Amelia Ambrose each have a pair of goals. Gaines has also picked up a pair of assists, while Clarke and Elliott have recorded one. Ambrose, Clarke Elliott and Gaines have all scored one game-winning goal.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Fifteen of the Mustangs 19 games this season have been decided by one goal, with a 16th game resulting in a 3-3 tie. On the year, SMU is 8-7 in games decided by one goal, going 2-5 on the road in those games and 6-3 in conference play. Too add to the drama, the Mustangs have won three games this season by scoring the game-winning goal with under 10 minutes to play, with two occurring in the final two minutes. SMU also tied up the match at Memphis with a goal by Amelia Ambrose with a minute and half left in regulation. Ambrose, Gaines and Smith have scored the late-game winners.
If the Mustangs defeat Rice, they will face the winner of the Colorado College/UTEP match in the Conference USA semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. SMU dropped a 1-0 match to Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Oct. 21, while the team rallied back from a 1-0 halftime deficit in El Paso, Texas, to knock off UTEP 2-1.