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 conference play at home against Colorado College

As with any athletic activity, perfection is the ultimate goal. To achieve such a feat, athletes go through a process of training, practicing and then fighting.

The training begins in preseason with basic drills and conditioning, practice kicks into gear during the opening games of the season, and the fight begins when the first seconds of conference play tick away.

The SMU women’s soccer team has practiced against five nationally ranked teams including defending NCAA champion USC, and current leader of the National Soccer Coaches of America Association poll, Notre Dame.

“If you learn to fight by fighting, then we’ve been in some big fights and we just have to keep moving on,” explained head coach Brent Erwin. “When you play Notre Dame and USC, they’re the very best, and it shows that we can get through that stuff.”

Despite their best efforts, the women’s soccer team stands at only 2-5-1. Heading into tonight’s game against 6-2-1 Colorado College, the Mustangs begin an 11-game Conference USA series in hopes of qualifying for the post season and C-USA Tournament.

“Competition hardens you. It makes you tough and it makes you strong. No one [in Conference USA] has been through a tougher competition than us,” said Erwin. “We have nothing to be afraid of.”

Colorado College finished last season 5-3-1 in the league. SMU went 4-5-0. Arriving at Westcott Field on a two-game losing streak and prior to their two previous losses, the Tigers posted a perfect 6-0-0 record before faltering in their last two stands.

Tonight’s game will mark the 15th meeting between the conference rivals, with each team holding seven wins. Last year, SMU defeated the Tigers on their home field in a 2-1 victory, breaking Colorado College’s three-game win streak.

The Tigers average 1.5 goals per game and 15.7 shots per game, forcing the Mustangs to step up their defense to control Colorado College’s offensive surge. Similar to SMU’s freshmen-heavy roster, the Tigers have consistently started a young group of players comprised of nine freshmen and sophomores.

“We need to make sure the opponent doesn’t dictate our mental stability going into game,” explained Erwin. “There are no easy games. If you think you’re better than a team you’ll lose. You have to keep that same fight, intensity and fire going into every game.”

As for Sunday’s game against the University of Texas at El Paso, Erwin defined the key to winning as keeping up the team’s intensity through the entire weekend, and taking every game as a “big game.”

The Miners are currently 7-2-0, leading C-USA in most regular seasons wins. Led by C-USA offensive and defensive player of the week Chelsea Winbush, the Miners average 15 shots per game and 1.62 goals per game.

Scoring for the Mustangs lags in comparison to Colorado College and UTEP, as the Mustangs average just one goal and 9.8 shots per game.

While there is always room for improvement Erwin says, “We’re the best team in our league I think. We have to go prove it. I think we have good teams [in our conference.] I imagine the other coaches are telling their teams to not look at the record. I only think that what matters is what you do on the field at the time.”

Tonight’s game will kick off at 7 p.m. Sunday’s game against UTEP will begin at 1 p.m.

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