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.
Sunday is a big one! Join us at Westcott Field for the rematch of last year's @American_MSoc title game.— SMU Men's Soccer (@SMUSoccerM) October 3, 2019
📆 Sunday, 7 p.m.
🆚 No. 11/9 UCF
📰 https://t.co/cKMLo8DKn0#PonyUp | #BeatUCF pic.twitter.com/EFUAqplf0l
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
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.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|No. 4||Ranking||No. 11|
|Kevin Hudson (57-20-9)||Coach||Scott Calabrese (28-10-6)|
|32||NCAA tournament appearances||6|
|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.
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.