Nov. 1, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Memphis (7-6-3, 3-2-2 C-USA) clashes with No. 14 SMU (10-3-3, 6-1-0 C-USA) Friday at Mike Rose Stadium with kickoff set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised live as the FOX Soccer Channel NSCAA Game of the Week. This will be the 10th meeting between the two programs, with the Mustangs holding the all-time series lead 8-1-0.
Memphis enters the match up fighting to grab one of the final spots in the Conference USA Men's Soccer Championship set for November 7-11 in Birmingham Ala. With four regular season league matches left to play, several scenarios could determine the Tigers' fate as to qualifying and seeding. SMU clinched the C-USA Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed on Thursday with UCF's defeat of Kentucky.
Scouting the Mustangs
SMU has one blemish on their record in C-USA at the hands of UCF 0-1.
Head coach Tim McClements is in fifth season at the helm for the Mustangs with a record of 55-26-10.
SMU returns six starters that finished the 2011 campaign 13-7-1 and tied for third in league play at 4-3-1. The Mustangs finished the year ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA.
Tyler Engel leads the Mustangs in goals (8), assists (6) and points (22).
Goalkeeper Jamie Ibarra has recorded 85 saves and allowed only 14 goals through 16 games. Ibarra carries a goals-against-average of .83.
Last time out the Tigers defeated UAB 3-1 behind goals from Chandler Gagnon, Mark Sherrod and Benjamin Ciosanski. Ciosanski notched his second game-winning goal in two games.
In two-straight starts at goalkeeper Cody Uzcategui has notched eight saves and allowed two goals with a record of 2-0.
Mark Sherrod leads the team in goals (10) and points (24).
Liam Collins leads the team in assists (7).
On Friday, Memphis will honor its two seniors on Senior Night. Andreas Guentner (D), and Jordan Johnson (D) will both suit up for the final time at Mike Rose Stadium. Both are four-year starters and letterwinners for Memphis.
Johnson has been a solid force defensively for the Tigers, and will play his 67th-game, and make 66th in a Memphis uniform against SMU. Guentner, a second year team-captain, will don the Blue and Gray for his 64th-match and make his 64th-start. Both Tigers have been vital to the growth and leadership of the program in their four-years as teammates.
Replay of 2008?
This is not the first time Memphis and a ranked SMU team have met in a televised match. On October, 15, 2008, The Tigers and then No. 15 Mustangs squared off at Mike Rose Stadium in an over-time thriller that saw Michael Coburn net the golden goal off a header to give Memphis the win 2-1. The game broadcast on CBS College Sports, was the first and only time Memphis has defeated SMU in the all-time series.
Closing It Out
Since 1991, The Tigers have a record of 13-6-2 when closing out the regular season. When playing their regular-season finale against a conference opponent, Memphis carries a record of 6-3-2 in that span. Additionally since 1991, the Tigers are 10-1-0 when playing their final regular-season game at home.
Tigers and Mustangs Big East Bound
Friday's match between Memphis and SMU marks the final time the two programs will meet as Conference USA opponents in the regular season. Both schools are slated to join the Big East Conference for all competing sports beginning in 2013.
Make sure you follow Memphis Men's Soccer on Facebook (facebook.com/MemphisSoccer) and on Twitter (@UMTigerSoccer) for updates during the games and throughout the season.