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


Women’s soccer looks to end three-game losing skid

After dropping three consecutive Conference USA matches in the last two weeks, the SMU women’s soccer team (5-10-1, 3-5-0 in conference) travels to Orlando, Fla., today at 6 p.m. to take on the University of Central Florida Knights (9-4-3, 4-2-2).

The Mustangs, who suffered a 2-1 loss Sunday to the University of Alabama Birmingham Blazers at Westcott Field, sit in ninth place in the conference standings. Three matches remain in the regular season, including the home finale Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (5-10-1, 1-7-0).

“Sunday was rock bottom,” said SMU head coach Brent Erwin. “But in every great drama the protagonist always comes back. I told the girls they will come back.”

In tonight’s game, the Mustangs, who lost their last three matches, look to get their adrenaline going in their fifth conference road game this season. Erwin said that the Mustangs are strong enough to win, but the young team must improve its consistency.

The Knights host SMU after defeating Houston 6-0 last week, in what may have been their best offensive performance of the season. With the win, UCF moved into the top 75 of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Ratings Percentage Index.

UCF averages 1.88 goals per game, with a .446 shot-on-goal percentage. Junior forward Yvonne George leads the Knights with four goals and seven assists, and junior forward Courtney Whidden-the team’s leading scorer in 2007-has tallied four goals and one assist. Freshman goalkeeper Aline Reis has tallied 69 saves, with a save percentage of .758.

UCF is undefeated in its last 12 season-ending home games, but Erwin has confidence that his team can break the trend.

“I think we’ve been better on the road than at home,” said Erwin. “The team is strong. There have been dips, but our players are coming back.”

Sunday’s match against Southern Mississippi will be the Mustangs’ last game at Westcott Field this season.

The Golden Eagles are on a seven-match losing streak heading into their match tonight against the University of Tulsa (1-5-2, 6-8-3). Having failed to win a conference match at home, Southern Mississippi has the opportunity to win its second conference road match. Nine of the Golden Eagles’ losses have been shutouts, including their last two games on the road.

Southern Miss posts only .62 goal per game, and the Golden Eagles’ goalkeepers have allowed 27 goals (1.66 per game). Senior forward Sarah McFadden leads the team with three goals and two assists and is accompanied by junior goalkeeper Holly Cox, who has a .758 save percentage.

For the Mustangs, freshman Courtney Webb and senior Ashley Gunter are battling for the starting goalkeeper spot, and a winner has not been announced. Webb has allowed 10 goals in eight matches this season, and Gunter has allowed 21 shots into the net in nine matches.

“We have two very good goalkeepers who are very good at their jobs,” said Erwin. “When a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it’s final, so I think we have to respect the fact it’s a tough position.”

With three starters out for the season-senior forward Caitlin Carter, junior midfielder Jennifer Raad and freshman defender Natalie Heintz-the Mustangs’ offense will be led by a combined effort of freshmen and upperclassmen.

Sophomore forward Lauren Shepherd and freshmen midfielders Devon Herrman and Dylan Jordan each have two goals and six points, tying them with Carter for most points on the team.

The Mustangs play their final conference game of the season Oct. 31 at Tulsa.

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