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Zach Pekale | NCAA.com | October 5, 2019

UCF vs. SMU men's soccer: Preview, history, how to watch

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No. 4 Southern Methodist is 6-0 at home in 2019. Picking up a seventh win on against No. 11 UCF would aid the Mustangs in making Westcott Field their home beyond the regular season. 

Sunday’s top-15 matchup is expected to have postseason implications and could potentially serve as the tiebreaker for home-field advantage during the American Athletic Conference tournament.

SMU began the season unranked, continually climbing up the United Soccer Coaches poll and most recently landing at No. 4 after the Mustangs (9-0) outscored opponents 8-1 last week. The Knights (7-1-1) are winners of six straight after a 1-1-1 start, moving up one spot to No. 11 following a 2-0 win over Temple. 

Here’s everything you need to know before Thursday’s match.

SMU vs UCF: Preview, how to watch

SMU and UCF are set to kick off from Westcott Field at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s how to follow the match. 

When: 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 6
Where: Westcott Field | Dallas, Texas
How to watch: American Digital Network

Series history

UCF won the teams’ lone regular-season meeting of 2018 — a 2-0 decision in Orlando. Come the conference tournament, however, SMU secured the league’s automatic bid with a thrilling win over the Knights decided on penalty kicks. It was the second consecutive season SMU bested UCF in the conference tournament final.

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SMU leads the all-time series 7-5-4, an edge primarily due the Mustangs’ ability to defend their home field. The Knights last won there inn 2011.

2019 matchup

SMU

TALE OF THE TAPE

UCF

No. 4 Ranking No. 11
Kevin Hudson (57-20-9) Coach Scott Calabrese (28-10-6)
9-0-0 Record 7-1-1
32 NCAA tournament appearances 6
0 NCAA championships 0
31 Goals for 21
3 Goals against 10
6 Shutouts 3
Garrett McLaughlin, 18 (8 goals, 2 assists), Leading scorer Cal Jennings, 19 (9 goals, 1 assist)

Both programs possess elite attacking prowess. UCF has possibly the top offensive weapon in Division I in Cal Jennings. The senior has nine tallies in as many games after a 20-goal campaign that earned him first-team All-American status as a junior.

SMU’s approach is a bit more balanced as three players on its roster have at least 15 points. Garrett McLaughlin has re-emerged in 2019, leading his team with eight goals and 18 points. Defender Eddie Munjoma sits one point behind McLaughlin while sophomore Knut Ahlander’s eight assists completes the offensive triumvirate.

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The staggering difference between the two comes in the defensive third. UCF has allowed 10 goals in 2019, a respectable total. By comparison, SMU has conceded three times and has +28 goal differential.

With both teams capable of finding the back of the net, Sunday’s match could be decided by finishing scoring opportunities.

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