The Mustangs opened conference play in Tulsa, Oklahoma Saturday, defeating the Golden Hurricane 1-0 in a tightly contested match.
Brenden Lee, a redshirt junior from Frisco, scored the game’s only goal on a cross in the sixth minute. The rest of the game was a defensive battle and both goalkeepers played well.
SMU goalie Michael Nelson played all 90 minutes and notched his fourth shutout of the year, tallying three saves along the way. Tulsa’s goalie Jake McGuire recorded four saves of his own.
The Mustangs registered 13 shots, 12 of which came in the first half, and had a four shot advantage in shots on goal. “It’s a great way to start conference play,” said head coach Kevin Hudson.
The win improved SMU’s all-time record against Tulsa to 29-8-3 and season record to 5-2-2. Tulsa fell to 4-4-1 and 0-1 in conference play.
Sophomore Jared Rice was named the American Athletic Conference men’s soccer Defensive Player of the Week for his performance. He recorded the assist on Lee’s goal, giving him a team-leading five assists on the season, and was a key contributor to a defensive line that only allowed three shots on goal.
SMU will take on Oral Roberts on Tuesday and UCF on Friday. Both games are at home at Westcott Field at 7 p.m.
SMU’s women’s team also opened conference play over the weekend, hosting Cincinnati on Thursday and East Carolina on Sunday. The women went 1-0-1.
The Mustangs started the weekend off with a 2-2 double overtime draw against the Bearcats. They dominated the ball, tallying a 27-8 advantage in shots.
Junior midfielder Paige Jacobs got the first goal of the game in the 60th minute on an assist from Lissi Lonsberry. Cincinnati responded just over a minute later with a goal by sophomore Jaycie Brown.
SMU earned a penalty kick in the 72nd minute that redshirt freshman Vanessa Valadez put past the Bearcats’ keeper. Brown notched her second goal of the game for Cincinnati in the 89th minute to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
The Mustangs had a 10-0 advantage in shots in the overtime periods. Despite the abundance of chances, SMU was unable to get the win.
Sunday was a different story for the Mustangs. SMU freshman Blair Thorpe substituted into the 1-1 game in the 90th minute and found Valadez streaking past the East Carolina defense for the game winner with 29 seconds to go.
It was Valadez’s second goal of the game and seventh of the season. The Kingwood, TX native was later named American Athletic Conference women’s soccer Offensive Player of the Week.
SMU racked up another huge advantage in shots, outshooting the Pirates 17-5.
“We’ve got two really tough games next weekend on the road, and hopefully we draw from this some confidence, some enthusiasm and some momentum,” Head coach Chris Petrucelli said.
The Mustangs (4-4-3) will play Tulsa on Thursday and Memphis on Sunday this week.
— American MSoccer (@American_MSoc) September 28, 2015
— American WSoccer (@American_WSoc) September 28, 2015