#11 UCF Visits #4 SMU for Huge AAC Match

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – The No. 11 UCF men's soccer team is set for their next conference tilt as they travel to face No. 4 SMU on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

This match means many things for both sides, but the one thing that stands out is that this is a rematch of the last two conference championship matches. The Knights have faced the Mustangs four times in the last two seasons, winning just once. Over the past two years, UCF has been edged by SMU in The American championship match, the most recent one a 0-0 result after double overtime but a 5-4 Mustangs win in penalty kicks.

Losses aren't a common thing between these two sides this season. SMU is a perfect 9-0-0 this season while UCF sits at 7-1-1. Both are off to a 1-0-0 start in conference play, meaning a win on Sunday would give the victor the early advantage in the race for the regular season crown.

SMU's marquee win of the season was to No. 2 Duke as the Mustangs went on the road and blanked the Blue Devils 2-0. Their only other win against a team near the top-25 was Lipscomb, who was receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches Poll when SMU topped them 3-0 in their season opener.

The Mustangs have scored 31 goals and have allowed just three this season. They hung a seven spot against Houston Baptist in a 7-1 victory in their second match of the season, defeated Valpo 6-0 and topped Tulsa 5-1. It hasn't been all smooth sailing for SMU though as they needed overtime to top Denver and narrowly defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Dallas.

Garrett McLaughlin leads the Mustangs in points so far, scoring eight goals and registering two assists. Right behind McLaughlin is Eddie Munjoma with six goals and five assists. Shane Lanson will likely be the starting goalkeeper for SMU as he has started six of their nine matches. He boasts a .889 save percentage and has only allowed two goals to this point.

The Knights have won six matches in a row and have gone unbeaten in their last eight. UCF has gotten on the board early over their last seven matches, scoring within the first 15 minutes each time. They've scored even faster over their last four matches, netting their first goal within the first seven minutes.

Both the Knights and Mustangs have high powered offenses, ranking in the top 15. It remains to be seen if this match will be one in which the goals pile up or if the defenses lock down and limit the number of goals against.

If the match indeed does evolve into a high-scoring match, watch for Cal Jennings and Louis Perez to be leading the match in points. Jennings has averaged a goal a game with nine so far in the 2019 campaign. Perez notched his first career multi-goal game in the team's last match with FAU. He now sits with three goals and seven assists on the year. Perez has been on the scoresheet over UCF's last four matches, registering at least two points in each match over that time.

Both teams put up remarkable shot totals each match, as SMU averages 18.7 shots per game while allowing just 9.8. As for the Knights, they've posted 15.8 shots per game while allowing an average of 8.0 per match. UCF is number one in the nation in corner kicks per match, totaling 74 and averaging 8.22 per match. SMU has 49 corners to this point.

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