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

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024
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Men’s soccer prepares for UAB Blazers

Adrian Chevannes and the Mustangs seek revenge against a UAB team that defeated SMU last season.
Stuart Palley
Adrian Chevannes and the Mustangs seek revenge against a UAB team that defeated SMU last season.

Adrian Chevannes and the Mustangs seek revenge against a UAB team that defeated SMU last season. (Stuart Palley)

In an unforgettable game last year, the unranked UAB Blazers upset the then No. 1 ranked SMU men’s soccer team in front of a record hometown crowd of nearly 3,000 fans. This year, the No. 6 ranked Mustangs will face the Blazers at home in a game that figures to have different results for teams moving in opposite directions.

The Mustangs (7-2-2, 2-0-1) are undefeated in their last six games and riding a three-game winning streak into the conference showdown. On the other hand, UAB (5-6-1, 0-3-0) rides into Dallas with a two-game losing streak and no wins in conference play.

Even though the momentum seemingly resides with SMU, last year’s matchup proves that SMU cannot take the Blazers lightly. UAB has consistently put up stellar performances over the course of the 2007 season and plays well against ranked opponents.

Junior midfielder Dejan Jakovic leads the UAB offense with 13 points, six goals and one assist, and was named to the preseason Hermann Trophy watch list. Like any talented midfielder over six feet tall, he will control the pace of the game unless SMU can neutralize his size along with his overall touches in the midfield.

Complementing Jakovic is junior forward Frank Brown. Brown, a native of Preston, England, has four goals on the season and is another six-footer on the UAB roster. Brown poses a threat because the majority of his goals (three of four) have been the game winners.

Overall, the Blazers’ offense has averaged 1.36 goals per game and fared relatively well over the season. They have outshot, outscored and put more shots on goal than their opponents over the year. Furthermore, the offense performed well in their biggest game of the season against No. 16 Indiana by scoring two goals in a victorious performance.

The UAB defense has been sporadic over the course of the year and below average of late. They have allowed 1.66 goals per game in their previous three matchups against FIU, Kentucky, and Eastern Illinois. The combined record of those opponents is far below .500.

On the other side of the ball, the Mustangs have played well over the past three weeks both offensively and defensively.

The offensive surge has come from the entire team stepping up their level of play. Defenders like Adrian Chevannes and Ryan Mirsky have added goals of late. Midfielder Ben Shuleva has scored three goals and forward Scott Geppert has returned from his injuries to compliment Dane Saintus up front.

The offensive improvement, in spite of injuries, is not limited to the above-mentioned players. It has been a combined effort from every player, including the substitutes who always provide a spark off the bench.

Defensively, the Mustangs have limited the number of shots on goal by controlling the pace in the midfield. This is not surprising considering tri-captains Shuleva, Bruno Guarda and Scott Corbin all play in the midfield. These players will look to limit Jakovic’s overall effect on the game.

If trends are any indicator, the Mustangs should fare well considering their recent success. Furthermore, the Mustangs seemingly always play better at home than on the road or neutral sites.

The game will take place tonight at 7 at Westcott Field. A win against the Blazers would vault the Mustangs into first place in Conference USA.

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