Mustangs start conference play on Thursday

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Junior Lissi Lonsberry has stepped up as the Mustangs starting goalkeeper.

SMU women’s soccer begins conference play on the road agains The University of Houston on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Mustangs are 11-1-2 all-time against the Cougars. Last year SMU took on Houston at Westcott Field for a 2-1 victory. Taylor Barg and Bari Kesner tallied goals for the Mustangs. Barg scored the last-minute goal giving the Mustangs the victory.

The last time the Mustangs played Houston on the road was in 2012, when the two teams tied, 2-2. The only time SMU has lost to Houston was in 2010 in a close 1-0 game and the Mustangs hope to keep that the only loss.

Houston’s players to watch are junior midfielder Lexa Green, senior forward Kayla Walker and junior goalkeeper Jordan Brown. Green is leading the Cougars in points with five, tallying two goals and one assist on the season. Walker has also recorded two goals, one was a game-winner and Brown has posted two shutouts.

SMU is coming off of a 2-1 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs in overtime on Sunday, where freshman Lauren Guerra scored both goals for SMU.

“She’s probably the best pure goal scorer that we have,” Head Coach Chris Petrucelli said. “We just haven’t been able to get her in positions where she can take advantage of that. When she went in on the goalkeeper (in overtime), I was certain she was going to score.”

SMU was coming off of a 4-1 loss to TCU on Friday night.

“We needed to bounce back,” Petrucelli said. “I think this will help us moving forward.”

Houston also fell to TCU 1-0 in their preseason opener.

Junior Lissi Lonsberry had two saves in the net for the Mustangs against TCU which she hopes to carry out against UH.

Although Lonsberry is new at the position, she’s made a name for herself. She gained the starting position after SMU had two devastating injuries with its two goalkeepers, Lauryn Bodden and Shannon Moroney. Earlier in the season, Coach Petrucelli sent out an email to all undergraduate students, announcing he would hold an open tryout for the new SMU goalkeeper. Lonsberry took one for the team and stepped in as the starting goalkeeper, after playing midfield and forward her first two seasons. She has totaled 25 saves in eight games, posting a 4-3-0 record at the starting position. She tallied her first career shutout against Texas Southern and then again at Colorado State.

SMU players to watch:

While Lonsberry is one Mustang to watch, we have a couple more on the radar. Keep an eye on senior forward Shelby Redman this season. She scored her 20th career goal against Oral Roberts, moving her up to 17th all-time on the Mustang scoring list. She is only one goal away from tying No. 16, which was set by Marci Miller in the 1996-97 season. Redman also leads the Mustangs in assists and is tied for sixth in the conference with six helpers.

Guerra is another to watch as she is SMU’s leading goal-scorer and is tied in the conference with three goals. She was named American Athletic Conference rookie of the week after scoring both SMU goals in the game against Gonzaga. Guerra leads the Mustangs in scoring this season.

New Mustangs:

The Mustangs have eight freshman and one transfer this year.

Transfer sophomore Paige Jacobs transferred from Oklahoma and was named to the All-Big 12 Newcomer team as a freshman. Jacobs earned 17 starts in 18 total games as a true freshman. Now, as a Mustang Jacobs has appeared in eight games with two starts.

Guerra, as we already mentioned, has been a key contributor this season and is only a freshman. Clair Oates trails second in goals on the team with two and five points. And freshman Vanessa Valdez has started five games. Her first goal for the Mustangs was against Texas southern for the game winning shot.

Now that you are up to date on your SMU women’s soccer team, check back with The Daily Campus for results of the SMU vs. UH game on Friday. And you can watch the Mustangs, after they return from Houston, on Saturday as they take on BYU at Westcott Field at 7 p.m.

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