Men kick off SMU Invite with 2-1 victory
Spohomore Alfred Koroma scored a goal in the second half to give SMU the 2-1 win over Hartwick at the Jason’s Deli SMU invitational on Friday night at Westcott field.
This is the Mustangs first win in 2013; improving their record to 1-4 on the season.
“We felt like we played well enough to win at times [this season],” SMU head coach Tim McClements said. “And when you don’t, it’s disappointing. So, getting a foothold, getting a first win against a great Hartwick team is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Junior, Andrew Morales, drew first blood with a goal in the 31st minute. First-year, Deshawon Nembhard, delivered a cross from the left to Morales at the top of the box to give the Mustangs the early lead. Nembharad finished the match with a pair of assists; providing validation for McClements decision to give the first-year the start against Hartwick.
“[Nembhard] is incredibly athletic,” McClements said. “He is left footed and has a nice touch on the ball. We put him in last week [as well], we aren’t afraid to put our young players in. I think he did a great job.”
Koroma’s goal in the 50th minute came off a shot from Nembhard that rebounded towards the sophomore. Despite being a goal off a deflection, sophomore John Lujano was credited with an assist.
Both of SMU’s goals came off of deflections, demonstrating the Mustangs ability to creat scoring opportunities on broken plays.
“Obviously the pretty goals are great, but they all count the same,” McClements said. “Our focus this week was getting more entries into the box, more play in the offensive third, more time in the penalty box and we did that tonight and we scored because of it.”
The Mustangs outworked the Hawks, as SMU outshot the Hartwick 11-7, and had a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
SMU goal keeper, senior Jaime Ibarra had two saves in his 90 minutes of action.
The Mustangs will host UMKC in Sunday for the final game of the invitational at 7 p.m. UMKC tied No. 13 Tulsa, 1-1, in its first match at Westcott field.