The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustangs kick off conference play on the road

Freshman+Kenzie+Scovill+fights+for+the+ball+against+a+University+of+North+Texas+defender+in+SMUs+1-0+win+at+Westcott+Field+on+Sept.+4.+CASEY+LEE%2FThe+Daily+Campus
Freshman Kenzie Scovill fights for the ball against a University of North Texas defender in SMU’s 1-0 win at Westcott Field on Sept. 4. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

Freshman Kenzie Scovill fights for the ball against a University of North Texas defender in SMU’s 1-0 win at Westcott Field on Sept. 4. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

As the Mustangs (2-5-0) prepare to open Conference USA play with a two-game road trip to Colorado and West Texas, women’s soccer head coach Brent Erwin said his team faces more than the usual challenge of competing in front of opposing fans.

The thinner air in both destinations may cause some players to have difficulty breathing and feel fatigued sooner than usual.

“This is the toughest road trip in the league,” Erwin said, referring to the high elevation and travel time between the cities. “We’re going to have to make sure our players get plenty of rest.”

El Paso has an altitude of more than 3,700 feet, while Colorado Springs sits more than 6,000 feet above sea level.

In contrast, the majority of Dallas sits at an altitude of less than 550 feet.

Erwin thinks his players are up to the challenge after making it through a difficult first seven games, including five on the road and three against Top 25 teams.

“It’s an unbelievably hard schedule, and we saw the benefit of that,” he said. “We don’t fake it. We go and play the very best teams.”

Throughout the first month of the season, SMU’s offense has been paced by two new additions to this year’s roster.

After playing two seasons for University of North Carolina (including the Tar Heels’ National Championship in 2008), junior midfielder Leslie Briggs is tied for the team lead in goals (3) and points (6) with freshman forward Kenzie Scovill.

A native of Lewisville, Texas, Scovill scored the game-winning goal last week against the University of Texas-San Antonio.

“Kenzie has really stepped in. Usually when you’ve scored that first goal, things get going,” Erwin said. “And Leslie is certainly not a freshman. She brings a lot of experience, and her presence has been fantastic.”

As for the rest of the offense, which has been outscored 20-9, the head coach feels everyone will benefit from more time spent as a unit.

“Anytime you bring so many young new players together it takes some time,” he said. “We’ll always be in a phase of growing.”

Following the road trip, seven of the team’s nine remaining regular-season games will be at Westcott Field. Erwin hopes to build momentum heading into the C-USA home opener against Rice on Oct. 2.

“I still believe this team is very, very good,” he said. “We don’t play games to try to pat our record. We go for it, and because of that the team will become better.”

The Mustangs will take on the Colorado College Tigers (4-3-1) Friday in Colorado Springs before traveling to El Paso for a Sunday afternoon match-up with the Miners (6-2-0).

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