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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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Irish to challenge women’s soccer

The Mustangs’ last two meetings against nationally ranked teams have not ended well. In meetings against the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas Jayhawks, SMU was handed two shutouts, dropping their overall season record, to 1-2-1.

In spite of the losses, the Mustangs are heading into Friday night’s game against 2007 NCAA semi-finalist Notre Dame more than ready to capture a second win. Following Friday night’s match up, the Mustangs will travel to Ball State and play the Cardinals in a Sunday afternoon game.

“It’s very easy to look at this weekend and only think about Notre Dame,” head coach Brent Erwin explained. “Ball State is an important game for us too. It’s a game we need to be ready for, and I think we’ll be fine. We’ll go to Notre dame on Friday, get all the experience from that, whether it be good or bad, and then go to Ball State and play very well.”

Having lost only one game this season during exhibition play, the Fighting Irish currently post a 5-0 regular season record, including four consecutive shut outs, three of which occurred on their home field.

“They’re good,” Erwin said. “It’s obviously going to be a good test, but I think we’re looking at it realistically. In the end, they are 11 girls that play soccer, and we’re 11 girls who play soccer. [Notre Dame] happens to be playing well, but we’re good too.”

Win or lose, the team has coined their season as one, giant learning experience. With NCAA champion Southern California looming on the horizon, the Mustangs are trying to take one game at a time, learn from their mistakes, and move forward to the next game.

The Fighting Irish currently average 3.4 goals per game, and are led by Kerri Hanks, who already has five goals on the season. Starting goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander has nine saves.

“We’re going to see a team that has been to the college cup several times in past years,” Erwin said. “[Notre Dame] is a team that is arguably one of the best in soccer.”

As for Ball State, the Cardinals are currently 1-3 overall. Sunday’s game will be the team’s second home game of the season after Ball State hosts Eastern Illinois on Friday. The Cardinals made it to the semi final round in last year’s Mid-American Conference Tournament, but lost 0-3 in penalty kicks to Bowling Green.

With a set game plan, SMU feels confident they can win both games as part of their first road series.

“We’re going to go play to win,” Erwin said. “We’re going to make ourselves better.”

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