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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Women’s soccer opens preseason with a win against the Baylor Bears

Erwin and Mustangs open the regular season on Saturday against Oklahoma State Cowboys
SMUs womens soccer head coach Brent Erwin signals his players against Baylor. Photo by Nick McCarthy, The Daily Campus
SMU’s women’s soccer head coach Brent Erwin signals his players against Baylor. Photo by Nick McCarthy, The Daily Campus

SMU’s women’s soccer head coach Brent Erwin signals his players against Baylor. Photo by Nick McCarthy, The Daily Campus

The SMU women’s soccer team blanked Baylor in a 1-0 season-opener exhibition game at Baylor’s Betty Lou Mays Field on Saturday evening.

The teams faced off against each other in three 30-minute periods so coaches could make necessary adjustments and give each player some time. The lone goal came in the 26th on a second Mustangs attempt by sophomore Lauren Shepherd. Shepherd rebounded the ball off a missed shot from freshman teammate Logan May to give the Mustangs their first point of the upcoming season. As the Mustangs battled for another goal, Baylor’s Carolyn Lynch launched a shot wide of the left post, out-shooting the Mustangs 4-0 in the second period.

“I thought we played very well,” said head coach Brent Erwin through a press release. “Lauren scored a nice goal, and our defense played very well.”

SMU’s strong defensive presence was able to hold off the Bears from tying the game. Senior goalkeeper Ashley Gunter came through for the Mustangs assisted by freshman Courtney Webb splitting playing time to help the Mustangs reach the shutout.

The Mustangs tied the Bears in a 0-0 draw back in March in a battle between goalies, as SMU’s Gunter counted several saves in the spring game.

“I was very pleased with the performance by our defense. They really limited what Baylor was able to do, which helped us come away with a good result,” said Erwin.

Heading into regular season play, the Mustangs will host the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday night at Westcott Field.

The Mustangs finished the 2007-08 season with a 9-7-1 overall record, and went 4-5-0 in Conference USA after suffering a five-game drought in the middle of conference play to take them out of the post-season championship. Failing to qualify for the Conference USA tournament after reaching the NCAA tournament in 2006, the Mustangs faced an early end to the season with a final 2-1 win over the University of North Texas.

But with 18 freshmen combined with a roster full of experienced players, the women are ready to put last season behind them and redeem themselves.

The Cowboys went 14-6-2, ending their season in a second round loss to the University of Texas in the Big 12 Championship series. OSU won the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship in a 2-1 victory over San Diego, but fell 0-4 to UCLA in round two.

Consistently ranking in the top 25, the Cowboys held the No. 13 spot through four games until a loss to Texas A&M.

OSU’s leading scorer from the 2007-08 season, junior Siera Strawser, returns to the Cowboys’ lineup after scoring team-high eight goals as a sophomore in 2007. Also returning for the Cowboys is junior Kasey Langdon. Langdon had five goals and led the team with nine assists last season. Midfielder senior Yolanda Odenyo will also return to the Cowboy’s after leading the team with 31 shots on goal last season, and seven goals.

Freshman Mary Pat Hardin will also have a strong impact for the Cowboys not only against the Mustangs, but also in OSU’s Big 12 conference. A former member of the U.S.Y.S.A Olympic Development National Pool from 2002-06 and Region 3 ODP team, Hardin is one of eight new members of the OSU roster.

The Mustangs will compete in nine games before beginning conference play in September. Reigning NCAA champion USC will host the Mustangs along with semi-finalist Notre Dame to prepare SMU for C-USA defending champ Memphis on Oct. 17.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 pm at SMU’s Westcott Field, and will be the first of a four-game series at Westcott Field.

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