No. 5 SMU Closes Regular Season With 2-1 Win Over FIU
Nov. 5, 2010
Courtesy of SMU Athletics
MIAMI - The No. 5 SMU men's soccer team closed out the regular season by defeating Florida International 2-1 in overtime Friday night. Senior Josue Soto and sophomore T.J. Nelson scored for the Mustangs. SMU posted a 15-1-0 mark during the regular season and was 7-1-0 in Conference USA action.
"The game was a hard-fought battle," Head coach Tim McClements said. "I think that it really shows FIU's drive and dedication. They could have easily folded up, but they didn't - they came out fighting. They played like they didn't have anything to lose, and that's a dangerous recipe for us going in to the game. We scored early in the first half, but then the game kind of opened up and that really favored FIU. It was a really end-to end game. We played hard, but we didn't play as well as we normally do because they played so hard and never gave up."
Soto opened up the scoring with a goal just 2:24 in to the game. The ball was served in to the box and bounced around before Soto gained control and sent it in for a 1-0 Mustang lead. The goal was Soto's sixth of the season.
Nelson netted the game-winner in the 99th minute for SMU when he gathered a rebound and fired it home for his second goal of the season. Both of Nelson's tallies have been overtime game-winners. His other goal came in the 103rd minute of the Mustangs' season opener against Missouri State.
FIU scored in the 48th minute with Carlo Schmid received a cross and sent the ball in far post to knot the game at one.
"The season has been great," McClements said. "The players have been great, and they've responded anytime there has been a difficult situation or distraction. We're just trying to get ourselves ready to win the conference championship and go to the NCAA tournament."
SMU heads to Memphis to compete in the Conference USA Championship Nov. 10-14. The Mustangs are the No. 1 seed and have a bye in the first round. SMU plays Friday, Nov. 12, against the winner of the No.4/No.5 quarterfinal match.