Mustangs conclude preseason with a win
Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
SMU men's soccer won their final pre-season exhibition game Wednesday morning against University of Central Arkansas.
Despite rainy weather, the Mustangs were able to shutout UCA 2-0. Both goals were scored by freshmen.
"The team has really good chemistry for this early in the season; the younger guys are meshing really well with the older guys," head coach Tim McClements said. "It's nice for them to get their first points, and it will be even better if they can do that on Wednesday in the season opener."
Freshman recruit and midfielder Zach Barnes scored the first goal from the outside with 20 minutes left in the first half after receiving an assist from teammate Juan Castillo. Castillo later scored the team's second goal within minutes of the start second half.
"It was good to finally get one in because it's our second game playing with the new team, so it's good to establish who we are," Barnes said on his first goal with the Mustangs.
Barnes, ranked as the No. 7 recruit in the nation, was Gatorade Player of the Year for Texas and was a high school All-American. Castillo was named second team All-American in high school. They are among several freshmen to join the team this year.
Many key players return this season after recovering from surgery and injuries last year. McClements allowed several players to sit out the spring season in order to recover.
Previously injured players such as defenders Leone Cruz, Diogo de Almeida and Brandon Pfluger return healthy and ready to face this year's competition this fall.
Senior captain and goalkeeper, Craig Hill, underwent surgery in the spring, but showed full signs of recovery during Wednesday's game. Hill has played 30 games for the Mustangs, including 10 shutouts. This summer, he trained with FC Dallas.
"I'm feeling great and ready to go," Hill told the Daily Campus. "We have a great group this year and high expectations. I think we will do really well."
The Mustangs will open the season facing off against the Missouri State Bears on Sept. 1 at Westcott Field. Last season, Missouri State defeated SMU 3-1.
However, the Bears recently lost to New Mexico 1-0 in an exhibition match on Aug. 22. Their exhibition games end Friday, a few days before they travel to Dallas to play SMU.
"We are taking games one game at a time. The most important thing to us is that we get better everyday, and if we do that then good things will happen with this group," McClements said on the upcoming season.
Following the Mustang's first game, SMU will host an Invitational Sept. 4-6. Seattle, Lipscomb and Tulsa are all expected to attend.