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 wins WAC title

 Womens soccer wins WAC title
Women’s soccer wins WAC title

Women’s soccer wins WAC title

In their final regular season game, the SMU women’s soccer team clinched the WAC regular season title by defeating the UTEP Miners 3-1. SMU ends the regular season with a 10-9-4 record (6-1-1 WAC) while UTEP drops to 15-2 (6-2 WAC).

By winning the WAC title, the Lady Mustangs earn a first round bye in the upcoming WAC tournament, which begins Thursday at Rice University. They also earned the right to host the tournament next year.

Should the Mustangs defend their WAC title, they would once again advance to the NCAA tournament.

“We’re up to the challenge,” senior defender Diana Kelm said. “We want it more than anyone.”

This was SMU’s last home game of the season; they were coming off a road trip that included their first conference loss since 2000.

“We needed this,” Mustang coach George Van Linder said. “This gives us great momentum going into the [WAC] tournament.”

“We needed to get our confidence back,” goalkeeper Amanda Clark said. “I think this win kind of sets the standard for our next games.”

UTEP brought along a small but very vocal group of fans who chanted and sang its way through the cold night.

“It’s a little frustrating to have (such loud support for the opponents) at home, but it’s still great,” Van Linder said. “It gives us more incentive to win.”

The Lady Mustangs stuck first when forward Lauren Mussallem sent a low, hard cross to an onrushing Tara Comfort. Comfort, one of four seniors to be honored in a brief pre-game ceremony, passed the ball softly into the open net.

UTEP quickly countered in the 23rd minute when defender Miranda Cuthbertson rolled a weak shot past a fallen Clark to knot the score at one.

UTEP continued to pressure, but to no avail. The game-winning goal was scored by junior Kim Harvey in the 37th minute, when she headed a Misty Noland corner kick over the head of the UTEP goalkeeper. It was Harvey’s team-leading 14th goal of the season.

The Lady Mustangs capped the scoring in the 65th minute when sophomore Erin MacCallum broke free down the left flank, drew UTEP keeper Kyla Clark out of the net, then passed to freshman Stephanie Sewell who was left open in the middle of the box.

SMU outshot the Miners 11-9 for the game, but UTEP held a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. One of those shots snuck behind Clark and would have tied the game at two, but it was cleared off the goal line by Jill Heinemann.

“I had no idea where that ball was,” Clark said. “I was just praying that someone was behind me.”

“I always tell the girls that if you stay on the (goal) line, you can be a hero,” Van Linder said, “and Jill was a hero tonight.”

The Mustangs are off until the weekend when they face the winner of the fourth vs. fifth seed game at the WAC tournament.

“I just keep telling the girls [that] it’s 180 minutes to the NCAA tournament,” Van Linder said.

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