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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Mustangs prepare to host SMU Invitational

The SMU men’s soccer opens at home this weekend, playing host to the annual SMU Invitational. The event features opponents Cal State Northridge and Bradley, and Conference USA rival Tulsa.

The Mustangs are set to play the Bradley Braves on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Bradley (4-0-1) comes in to the weekend off a three-game winning streak. The Braves are still undefeated for the season, making this their best start since 2002.

The Braves bring a strong defense front. Sophomore defender Bryan Gaul was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Gaul was also recently named as’s National Player of the Week. Gaul has helped to lead the Braves in to national ranking at No. 28.

Next, the Mustangs face off against the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-1-0) Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

The Matadors started out hot this season, with senior Sunghyun Kim leading the attack. Kim has earned 15 goals and 12 assists in his career and earned All-Big West honors in his first three seasons with the Matadors.

The Mustangs (2-2-0) come into the weekend even in season play.  With strong performances on the offense by seniors Dane Saintus and Paulo da Silva, the Mustangs have started to hit the scoreboards.

Head coach Tim McClements said that the team is very happy with the progress they have made early in the season. He said that they are more comfortable with their strength and weaknesses, and are finally settling in to some consistency.

“We are not just a team of 11 players, we have good depth,” McClements said. “We are technically a strong team full of very talented players.”

On the defense, team co-captain and keeper Craig Hill has registered one shut out in the early start of the season. Hill said that the team is quickly coming together, and many of the players have started to shine.

“I think all of our players have been stepping up and raising the level of soccer here at SMU, but the player who I think is having the biggest impact so far is Dane Saintus. When he’s on the field he’s a constant threat to the other team,” Hill said.

McClements agreed, saying that Saintus has had an excellent past few games. Saintus scored two goals in the Mustangs last game against Yale.

McClements also says that all the upperclassmen have been providing a strong leadership role this year.

Senior forward and co-captain da Silva has battled injury throughout his SMU career. Da Silva has been lighting up the offense with two Goals and two assists so far. Da Silva was named to the 2009 Preseason All-American team prior to the season’s start.

“If we play as a unit, and not as individuals, we really have a good chance of going 2-0 this weekend. We really have been improving each game, getting closer to the goals we have set as a team, and playing like every game is our last,” da Silva said.

The team will play both games this weekend at Westcott Field.

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