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

Women’s soccer ends streak with two shutouts

The SMU women’s soccer team snapped its five game and nine day losing streak this weekend with wins over Rice and the University of Houston.

Leading up to this weekend, head coach Brent Erwin reitereated to his team the idea that nine days does not define a team.

“You’re going to win the game. You’re prepared well, and you know exactly what to do.”

Erwin’s speech seemed to work, as the team managed to shut out both visiting schools this weekend.

Friday night’s game against the visiting Rice Owls was just the morale booster the team needed after a rough weekend on the road. The game was scoreless during the first half, with the Owls managing to top the Mustangs with shots on goal three to one.

Senior midfielder Brittainy Vice opened the game with SMU’s first shot on goal in the 20th minute, but was denied the point when Rice goalkeeper Meghan Erkel made a diving save. Rice’s first shot of the first half came from midfielder Samantha Conn, but SMU goalkeeper Ashley Gunter was there to make her first save of the game.

The second half of the game proved to be more exciting and satisfying for the Mustangs when junior midfielder Caitlin Carter rocketed an eight-yard shot into the net off a pass from teammate senior midfielder Allison Brill in the 55th minute. The point marked Carter’s second goal of the season. With the Mustangs on the board, Rice viciously struck back with eight shots on goal compared to SMU’s four, but were unable to get past Gunter. Vice stepped up in the 76th minute with a 14-yard shot off a long defensive pass from senior defender Kimber Bailey, netting her third goal of the season.

Carter credits the team’s victory to overcoming disappointment and working together as a team. She goes on to say, “To overcome the losses, we needed to get confidence back in ourselves, and we knew we had to come out strong in this weekend’s games. It was us working together as a team, and just doing everything together.”

The Mustangs closed out the game 2-0. “It was very good to get a win, we’ve been a little bit unlucky, although we haven’t played terribly,” said Erwin.

Gunter had seven saves during the game, and the team totaled only five shots on goal compared to Rice’s 11.

Erwin explained, “We created good chances tonight and scored on those chances. Nothing that we had was a half chance.”

Rice falls to 9-5-2 overall, and 3-2-1 in Conference USA play.

Sunday’s game against the University of Houston Cougars was also a success for the Mustangs. First-year midfielder Marisa Schieda scored her first goal of the season on the Cougars in the 31st when she made a four-yard aim for the goal off a corner kick taken by Vice. SMU headed into the locker room up 1-0, with 10 shots on goal compared to the Cougars’ four. Gunter had two saves on goal the first half, while Houston goalkeeper Shelby Scott made two. Kim Peabody, Kimber Bailey, Marissa Scheida, Lauren Shepherd, Carly Phillips and Brittainy Vice all had shots on goal in the first half.

Freshman forward Lauren Shepherd scored her second goal of the season when she got a long pass from teammate sophomore defender Jena Lind and shot the ball into the net from 16 yards. Gunter had a great save from a penalty kick in the second half but blocked the shot with a diving catch, keeping the Mustangs in the lead.

“The penalty kick got everyone really excited because people are expected to score on penalty kicks, so it was a really big save,” explained Gunter.

Erwin gave the “freshmen mafia” playing time at the end of game, and credits them with putting the game away for the Mustangs. “We subbed in almost every member of the freshmen mafia for the end of the game, and they absolutely killed them,” Erwin explained. “They ended up finishing the game out and they were absolutely fantastic.”

The Mustangs defeated Houston 2-0, dropping the Cougars to 4-10-2 overall, and 0-6-1 in C-USA.

SMU holds a record of 7-7-2 overall, 3-5-0 in conference play and are currently ranked No. 9 in Conference USA.

With a total of 11 saves this weekend, Gunter was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week. Earning two shutouts after a five-game losing streak, Gunter increases her numbers to four shutouts in the season and 22 career shutouts. Gunter is currently tied in third place with former SMU goalkeeper Kim Kyle for the most shutouts. “Winning against Rice was really big and everyone was really excited about it,” explained Gunter.

“We knew we needed to come away with two wins this weekend to help out our record and help out chances of getting into the conference tournament.”

The Mustangs will wrap up regular-season play next weekend with two home games. SMU will host the Golden Hurricane from Tulsa at Westcott Field Friday night at 7, followed by the Mean Green from North Texas on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.

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