Undefeated ponies travel to Florida, face Knights in soccer
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The No. 5 ranked SMU men's soccer team will put their undefeated record on the line when they travel to Orlando this Saturday to face the UCF Knights at 6 p.m.
SMU (9-0-0) picked up their first conference victory of the year with a 3-2 win over UAB last Friday.
"There's nothing better than getting your first conference win against a good team on the road," SMU Head Coach Tim McClements said. "We've had a good run in non-conference play, but that doesn't have any bearing on the conference, which is the most important part."
The Mustangs then defeated Jacksonville in overtime, 3-2 Sunday. "It's a great win," McClements said.
"It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a great win. Playing UAB Friday took a lot out of us, but the guys showed a lot of composure, class and heart. We kept doing what we do well, and were able to get the win in the end."
UCF (5-2-0) had their own thrilling overtime victory over the weekend as they defeated Marshall 2-1.
The win gave the Knights their first conference victory of the year as they head back home after three games on the road, which also featured a win over Army and a loss to Massachusetts.
"It hasn't been easy being on the road the last three weekends," UCF Head Coach Bryan Cunningham said.
"I am proud of the guys for beating a very good and disciplined Marshall team on the road. I hope that a win like this will help us continue to play well as we come back home."
Nine different players have collected at least one goal for the Mustangs, and a total of 14 men have found the score-sheet.
SMU forward Juan Castillo has been named NSCAA National Player of the Week, C-USA Offensive Player of the Week and has twice been named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
The freshman forward leads the team in goals with seven and is tied for second on the team in assists with two.
UCF has posted three shutouts in seven games this year, but will have their hands full trying to stop Castillo's offensive fire power. Castillo works best in clutch time, illustrated by his team-leading three game-winning goals.
"It just shows how far I've come," Castillo said about his goal scoring. "I owe it all to my teammates because they've fed the ball to me and find me in the right position. So I owe it to them."
Junior midfielder Arthur Ivo has also been a constant threat on offense for SMU. Ivo was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after scoring a goal against UAB and the game-winning goal against Jacksonville. He was also named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week for his efforts this past weekend.
Ivo is tied for second on the team with four goals and has also dished out an assist.
UCF sophomore midfielder Nik Robson scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season against Marshall. The Macleans College transfer from New Zealand also leads the team in assists with four.
Junior forward Cameron Cooskey has also been an effective weapon for the Knights. Against Marshall, he scored the game-winning goal, ending a five-game scoring drought. Despite the drought, Cooskey is second on the team with three goals and has also recorded an assist.
SMU leads the all-time series against UCF 3-0-2. Last season, the teams tied 3-3 on Oct. 31.