Men's Soccer Falls Short at No. 11 SMU


Oct. 6, 2007

Final Stats

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DALLAS, Texas (www.ucfathletics.com) - Despite a career-high eight saves by freshman goalkeeper Sean Johnson, UCF fell to No. 11 SMU, 3-1, in Conference USA men's soccer action at Westcott Field on Saturday night.

In what was only the second league came for both teams, the Knights dropped to 4-6-1 overall and 0-1-1 in C-USA, while the Mustangs improved to 6-2-2, 1-0-1 C-USA.

"I am proud of the effort that the team gave tonight," said UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham. "We were creating chances and putting ourselves into position to score. With all those opportunities, it's just a matter of time before they find the back of the net again."

Although UCF had several scoring chances early in the match, junior Jeff Harwell put the Mustangs up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he corralled a rebound and scored on a shot from eight yards.

SMU extended its lead in the 62nd minute on a goal by junior Richard Oliva. His shot from 14 yards was deflected off a UCF defender. Sophomore Dane Saintus assisted. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, junior Ryan Mirsky scored on a free kick from 25 yards to put the host up 3-0.

After a UCF goal was called back earlier in the second half, junior Mike Mattson (Boca Raton, Fla./Pope John Paul II HS) ended the Mustangs' shutout bid in the 85th minute, recording his third goal of the season into the lower left corner from 10 yards. Sophomore Akin Akinrinade (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville HS) earned the assist.

SMU finished with a 17-12 advantage in shots. In addition to Johnson's eight-save effort, Mustang junior keeper Craig Hill also stopped eight shots.

"The effort, the determination and the fight was there in our players tonight," said Cunningham. "Now we have to focus that on our next game as we hit the road to play Florida International."

The Knights return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 10 when they visit in-state Conference USA rival Florida International. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pics.